Industrial lab bench or furniture can endure daily wear and tear while accommodating numerous usage and large loads. These heavy-duty workbenches are built to withstand everything from heavy machinery and equipment to vibration dampening.
A laboratory has unique requirements and expectations, not the least of which is worker ergonomics. However, there are times when it is just not possible to move in such a way that the tension in the body is relieved.
For many employees in this area, repetitive hand movements and a static body posture, such as the forward-inclined working posture typical of laboratory work, are part of everyday life. In order to achieve all of the unique requirements, it is necessary to operate with a specifically constructed laboratory chair.
A seating solution must meet specific standards in order to relieve the body of as much strain as possible while also providing the required support. Selecting the right laboratory chair is an important decision for a lab manager. The wrong choice could lead to uncomfortable and possibly unsafe working conditions.
So what should you look for when shopping for a lab chair? Here are some of the features and characteristics that indicate you’re making a good choice:
Lab Bench Ergonomics
Anyone who has been seated in a lab chair for any length of time knows how vital ergonomics is. Thankfully, many of the best lab chairs are designed with this in mind so that even when spending long hours working at a desk, the body will be supported and comfortable.
In fact, it is important for any office chair to be ergonomic, especially if used for extended periods of time. With that being said, there is no reason that this should not be applicable to lab benches and lab tables as well.
Since lab benches are one of the most used lab furniture, it’s essential that they support proper body posture to prevent injury. Without the right ergonomic design, your staff is more prone to experiencing back pain and that could result in less productivity.
This can cause a ripple effect throughout the workplace—other workers will feel more pressure to compensate by putting in longer hours instead of leaving the workplace on time.
Before purchasing any custom lab benches, consult with your staff to identify how and where the lab bench will be used.
The ideal height for laboratory benches would depend on how they’ll be used. It is crucial to take into consideration the height of the lab counter or lab tables where your workforce would be performing their experiments, research, and projects.
To choose the optimal lab bench height, you must first determine the work surface height of the laboratory workstations. Keep in mind that a tall counter’s 10-inch lift capability makes it difficult for those of shorter stature to get on and off.
Hiking the hip up to a chair seat that is higher than 29 inches takes a lot of work. For individuals who need to hop to be able to sit, getting on and off the stool on a regular basis is much more exhausting. This is especially true for scientists who are 5 feet, 2 inches tall, or shorter.
As a result, most of them will need to utilize a footing or a footrest to safely get on and off the lab workbenches.
Fixed Height Lab Benches
For working at the fixed height workbench, there are a few basic chair features that are recommended. Pneumatic seat height adjustment in the prescribed range should have seat back height adjustment, seat back angle for lumbar support, and seat depth adjustment—these are all minimum requirements for lab benches.
The easier and more evident the adjustments are, the better. To support the lumbar and most of the thoracic spine, including the mid-scapular area, a seat back height of at least 20 inches to 22 inches is recommended.
Features of Sophisticated Laboratory Benches
A number of sophisticated features are also recommended, particularly if scientists will be performing forward-leaning jobs for microscope use, note writing, working in the biosafety hood, or other sensitive procedures.
A forward seat tilt allows the trunk-to-thigh angle to be closer to 100 degrees or greater, tilts the pelvis forward and supports the back while looking down with the head, eyes, and neck.
To avoid compressing the trunk to thigh angle, the forward seat tilt is used in conjunction with altering the seat’s back angle to a more open angle or a slight recline. If this position is established, a footrest should be put in front of the footing to provide support on a sturdy basis if the feet are not on the floor.
Correct Fabric or Cushion
The work environment, chemicals being used, and residues in the lab should all be considered when choosing the type of fabric and cushion support. Polyurethane, vinyl, mesh weave, or a combination of these materials can be specified for most lab workbenches.
Make sure it’s easy to clean and won’t easily tear, while electrostatic dissipative fabrics may be required in some labs.
Cushion comfort is crucial, so make sure the seat, and especially the foam beneath the fabric, are of good quality, don’t compress quickly, and will last for years. In addition, it is also critical for weight distribution, especially when spending several hours or more each day sitting.
The seat cushion should not compress to the point where the frame can be felt beneath it, putting pressure on the thighs’ undersides. The weave design and integrity of the fabric you choose will have an impact on the cushion quality and feel. Keep in mind that some lab workbenches are made entirely of molded plastic or steel with no foam or fabric.
There is No One Size Fits All
Regardless of the workbench you choose, it may not fit all of your personnel or lab activities. Recognize that shorter in height lab scientists who stand less than 5 feet, 2 inches, those who are tall with a height of more than 6 inches, and those who are larger in size with a weight higher than 275 lbs will need a customized option when sitting in the lab.
To tailor-fit your staff’s laboratory workstations’ requirements, you can check out the complete features of our customized lab bench by visiting our website. You may also contact us at LabTech Supply Company, Inc. today!