Anyone who works in traditional labs knows that it’s prone to several problems. There may be a lack of room for movement and storage, or sometimes the interiors are outdated. Luckily, these can be easily avoided with modular lab furniture like industrial workbenches.
This allows for more personalized workstations, giving technicians the space they need to stay productive. If you’re planning on making the switch to modular furniture, learn about the benefits and how to maintain them below.
Types of Modular Lab Furniture
At the main lab’s entrance, you’ll find these one-of-a-kind holders. They carry and keep gowns and scrubs sanitary so they can be worn at a moment’s notice inside sterile surroundings.
Balance Shields or Mini-Hoods
These transparent boxes can be found on top of balances. They ensure that samples are weighed accurately and stay undisturbed by airflow or bumping. Mini-holds are similar to balance shields but have closable openings for balances.
Laboratory Benches and Industrial Workbenches
Most experiments and tests are performed on heavy-duty laboratory benches. These are long, customizable tables with storage units, durable work surfaces, and other attachments.
A stainless steel workbench, for example, includes water and fuel sources.
Designed to contain and safeguard evidence and samples, this is vital for forensic investigations. Their storage compartments or chambers feature locks to keep the evidence safe.
These cabinets may also feature built-in drains and venting systems.
Cabinets may be customized for a specific purpose to maximize storage, or simply used as a general storage unit. They can also be modified to become laboratory benches using special laminates.
As the name suggests, these are used to keep volatile or dangerous chemicals. They’re usually designed to handle any complications that the chemicals could cause, which is perfect for industrial applications.
Some have fire-retardant properties, are ventilated, lined with glass, and other similar features for safety.
Mobile Drawer Cabinets
Mobile drawer cabinets let you move tools and equipment of various sizes with ease. They have wheels so you can easily move them around from room to room with hardly any effort.
A lab cart is one of the most adaptable pieces of lab equipment. They make it possible to carry heavy or fragile goods, as well as flammable or fragile materials safely.
This is the blanket term for all the built-in cabinets you have in the laboratory. They’re waterproof to protect a variety of objects and lab accessories, and they keep everything you need within reach.
Cubbyholes or Coat Hooks
These are what you need to store garments in a lab. Technicians can get their lab coats and other safety attire from here, while clothing that’s deemed unsafe in a lab can be stowed here before work begins.
This is where small items go. You can choose to get one that has partitions or sections so that they’re always organized. Some industrial workbenches also come with drawers.
Fume hoods are ventilated enclosures that are used during experiments. They ensure that no dangerous or offensive chemicals are released into the main laboratory space by managing and then exhausting those compounds.
Lab technicians frequently don protective gloves, which can be found in glove dispensers. These dispensers can either contain the loose gloves on their own, or boxes that contain the gloves.
Holder, Notebook, and File
Some labs require that record books stay inside the lab at all times for security reasons. So that technicians can find them quickly, they are often placed on wall-mounted holders.
Technicians may need to take sudden showers in case of an accident like being exposed to dangerous chemicals. That’s why some labs have emergency showers that may activate an alarm when used.
Stools are where many scientists sit while working. They’re built without backs or armrests unlike the common office chair so that they won’t accidentally hit things and cause damage in the lab.
Benefits of Modular Lab Furniture
Modular lab furniture does bring many benefits, but it’s important to go through the advantages before your renovation to weigh your options and make an intelligent decision.
It also boils down to what specific pieces of furniture address your lab’s set of specific needs, which can vary from person to person.
Easy Adaptability to Various Laboratory Needs
Every lab technician has a unique set of needs to do their job efficiently. With modular laboratory furniture, like ergonomic workbenches, you can help by enabling them to configure each workstation.
Modular furniture can be adjusted in terms of size, or can also be improved with modifications such as electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection.
Cost-Effectiveness for Labs with Changing Needs
Labs have a tendency to expand or scale down at a rapid pace. With the customizability of modular furniture, you can afford to skip full-on renovation.
This is a cost-effective method of letting your laboratory grow side-by-side with your business. Getting modular furniture gives you a head start on future expansion.
Smooth Reconfiguration Depending on Lab Processes
As mentioned, modular furniture is designed to grow along with your business. Not only does it involve making room for technological advancements, but it also makes it easier when operations grow and more technicians join the team.
Modular furniture is also easy to customize to fill out different lab sizes.
Ergonomically Designed for Optimal Productivity
Ergonomically designed lab furniture is created to keep technicians in comfortable positions, greatly minimizing stress or burnout.
Having modular lab furniture can help your experts stay extremely productive while working toward their goals. Technicians can also work for much longer periods of time when they work on ergonomic lab furniture, which is constructed and created with improved mobility, adjustable heights, etc.
Efficient Space Saver that Adjusts to Lab Layout
Labs are getting smaller and smaller these days, which is why modular casework may be cobbled together or split apart. This gives employees ample floor space, preventing the lab from feeling cramped, and enhancing load capacity for staff.
Moreover, having less clutter helps you avoid accidents and additional modules can be bought if your lab needs more.
Strict Adherence to Safety Standards
Choose laboratory furniture that adheres to safety requirements set by organizations like American National Standards Institue (ANSI), and the Business And Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA).
Verify the UL listing of electronic components you want to use. Volatile chemicals are commonplace in laboratories so maintaining a safe environment is of utmost importance.
Take note that less expensive imports often have lower standards.
Influence of Ergonomics on Modular Lab Furniture
Incorporating ergonomics when choosing or designing lab furniture can seem like overkill. However, with all the possible consequences, it’s actually worth it in the long run.
What are the Different Ergonomic Challenges that Lab Employees Encounter?
Without ergonomic furniture, employees may experience a number of challenges that could prevent them from being their most productive selves.
Hours of working while sitting down can cause physical pain. After a while, it can cause back pain, neck pain, hand pain, and eye strain just to name a few.
Why Should You Be Proactive About Switching to Ergonomic Lab Furniture?
Ergonomic furniture prices may be steep, but it might be less costly for you to invest in them in the long run.
Employees in workplaces that don’t have ergonomic furniture often suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs). Because of that, billions of dollars in workers’ compensation and medical expenses could be incurred.
How Do You Determine which Modular Lab Furniture to Get?
Safety and adaptability are two big factors when choosing your modular lab furniture. Others include your lab’s size, layout, and storage capacity that you need. When in doubt, you can always consult with the lab design team and laboratory personnel as they’ll be spending the most time in it.
At the end of the day, it’s the employer’s job to provide a healthy and safe working environment for employees. Putting ergonomic principles in place can significantly minimize the frequency of injuries caused by physical overexertion.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides important elements of an ergonomic process such as listening to workers’ concerns, getting their feedback, and encouraging them to report early symptoms of MSD.
Future Proof Your Lab with Modular Furniture
Essentially, modular furniture keeps your lab prepared for what the future may hold. It increases employee productivity so that they get things done faster and efficiently. Not to mention the fact that ergonomic and modular furniture can make them want to work with you for a long time.
Because of the furniture’s plug-and-play nature, it also makes the laboratory customizable so that it can be renovated again and again with less effort. For the same reason, downtime won’t be something you’ll have to worry about often.
It may seem unnecessary now, but it’ll prove to provide a high ROI later.
Get Modular Lab Furniture from LabTech Supply Company, Inc.
If you’re ready to make your lab a safe and comfortable place to work and provide you with premium-quality industrial workbenches, it’s time to contact LabTech Supply Company, Inc.
For over three decades, we’ve been providing customers with industrial workbenches and more to help them succeed—we want you to be next, contact us at 800-476-5228 at LabTech Supply Company, Inc. today!