Do You Know the ANSI/BIFMA Standards?

US Workplace Safety in the Early 20th Century

Factories were not the best places to work. The only light present was the sunlight that came through the windows. Machines spit out smoke and in some factories, workers came out covered in black soot by the end of the day. There were a plethora of machines with not many safety precautions. This resulted in many accidents. The workers only received a break for lunch and a break for dinner.

  • Low wages
  • Long working days/weeks
  • No regulations
  • No insurance

Workplace Conditions Started Improving

Companies began to guard machines and power sources while machinery makers developed safer designs. Managers began to look for hidden dangers at work and to require that workers wear hard hats and safety glasses. They also set up safety departments run by engineers and safety committees that included both workers and managers.

The American National Standards Institute

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association

  • Support healthy, safe, and sustainable environments
  • Publish key industry statistics
  • Advocate for legislation and government regulation with a direct impact on the health of the industry
  • Provides a useful forum for members to cooperate and collaborate on appropriate industry issues
  • ANSI covers a wide-range of industries, including office furniture, and sets the standards
  • BIFMA is dedicated exclusively to the commercial furniture industry and tests furniture to meet those standards

Working with the Government

The ANSI/BIFMA Tests

  • Stability Under Vertical Load Test
  • Horizontal Stability Test for Desk/Tables with Casters
  • Force Stability Test for Tall Desk/Table Products
  • Concentrated Functional Load Test
  • Concentrated Proof Load Test
  • Top Load Ease Cycle Test
  • Desk/Table Unit Drop Test
  • Leg Strength Test
  • Cycle Test for Center/Pencil Drawers
  • Interlock Strength Test
  • Force Test for Door Locks
  • Locking Mechanism Cycle Test
  • Work Surface Vertical Adjustment Test
  • Keyboard Support and Input Device Support Adjustment Tests
  • Durability Test for Desks and Table with Casters
  • Pull Force Test

Identifying the ANSI/BIFMA Rating for a Product

Why Should I Care?

In Sum

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David Manney

David Manney

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Sharing what I’ve learned, hoping it helps others understand various topics