Your laboratory and production staff need good ergonomics – here’s why

Lab chairsThe case for creating comfortable, ergonomic workplaces for your scientific, research and manufacturing teams is strong. The right task seating for production and laboratory staff can:

  • Increase comfort
  • Reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders 
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Improve productivity
  • Cut maintenance costs
  • Boost staff morale

What can the right seating in a laboratory do?

In your lab, production and industrial environments, your staff may use repetitive movements using a variety of tools and workstations. For this reason, the risk of musculoskeletal injury can be particularly high. It’s important to provide staff with equipment that comfortably supports them as they carry out the day-to-day tasks of their employment with you.

Ergonomics puts humans at the centre of a design, and as the focus when choosing the environment, the task or the equipment. It makes sense to benefit from it!

Laboratory chairs and industrial chairs need to be ergonomically designed just as much as ordinary office chairs.

What are the musculoskeletal risks in industrial environments?

  • Repetitive motions from tasks
  • Prolonged standing
  • Use of small handheld tools
  • Tasks that require precision, increasing demands on small muscles and eyes
  • Equipment with limited adjustability

These risks affect high numbers of our UK workforce - 2.52 million people are employed in the manufacturing sector in the UK and there are about 230,000 people who work in biomedical sciences and 80,000 laboratory technicians.

Lab technician working in the UK

What is the Health and Safety Executive guidance on furniture in a laboratory?

The HSE state in their booklet ‘Safe working and the prevention of infection in clinical laboratories’ that: 

  • Employees working in the laboratory must have suitable seating, and workstations should be arranged so that each task can be carried out safely and comfortably. Materials and equipment in frequent use need to be within easy reach. 
  • Benches should have impervious and easily cleaned surfaces. Other fittings and furniture also need to be constructed from hard-wearing, easily cleaned materials with impervious surfaces that are resistant to damage by stains or chemicals.

The right chair or stool for the environment

Chairs for STEM businesses

A chair’s adjustment options, component profile, and manufacturing journey can all play a role in how appropriate it may be for a particular workspace or team of employees.

Production Seating

  • At production workstations, chairs need to be resilient and durable enough to withstand the rigours of a manufacturing environment, whilst offering comfortable support for your employee.

Bimos Nexxit chair in production workplace

ESD Seating

  • Electrostatic discharge poses a big risk at productions workstations, potentially causing considerable damage to both staff and products. ESD chairs divert and discharge static energy to the earth, reducing the static charge generated by sitting.

Laboratory Seating

  • Laboratory equipment needs to be easy to clean, move around, and adjust to multiple users. Good lab seating fulfils all of these criteria. Wipe-clean upholstery options that are durable and comfortable are key.

Cleanroom Seating

Functional chairs that are designed to meet strict hygiene criteria are needed for cleanrooms of all grades. Look for cleanroom-specific features such as sealed upholstery, membrane covered controls, and no-oil gas stems.

All chairs referred to as ‘task’ chairs means simply that they’re designed for carrying out a task while seated.

Recommendations for ergonomic task chairs and stools

Lab chairs

You don’t have to make your chair buying decisions alone. Choose your lab chair and production chair supplier based on their:

  • Ergonomic expertise
  • Knowledge of the chair market
  • Willingness to listen to your needs and make bespoke recommendations
  • Independence
  • Competitive pricing due to strong buying power
  • Long-standing relationships with leading chair manufacturing partners, including Bimos, HÅG, MDK, RH by Flokk, Score, Throna and Verco for example.
  • Complete service offering and ability to support you through the entire process, from product selection all the way through to ethical disposal of chairs at end-of-life
  • International network – to help wherever chairs are required; one or 1,000 chairs; one laboratory or an entire premises
  • Provision of good warranties
  • Appropriate corporate accreditations and adherence to relevant manufacturing and product standards.

Good laboratory chair options

To whet your appetite, here are examples of just two lab chairs which have ergonomics at heart:

BIMOS Neon

Bimos Neon Lab Chair from Posturite

A stylish ergonomic chair suitable for production environments, laboratories and ESD. It features:

  • Lockable back height adjustment
  • Seat height adjustment
  • Seat depth adjustment as standard
  • Available in synchronous or permanent contact mechanism
  • Available in 2 standard gas stem heights
  • Available in 4 upholstery types
  • Available in multiple upholstery finishes
  • Easy-click replaceable upholstery pads
  • Available in 4 flexistrip colours
  • Available with 4D armrests
  • Available in castors, glides, and stop-go castors
  • Footplate and glides come as standard with draughtsman-height gas stems (A draughtsman-height chair is used at higher workstations)

RH Activ

RH Activ chairs from Posturite

Here’s a very durable and supportive option with a movement mechanism and a single lever to unlock the back angle, seat tilt, or both simultaneously. The RH Activ chair comes in configurations suitable for production environments, laboratories, cleanrooms and ESD and features:

  • Lockable back height adjustment
  • Seat height adjustment
  • Seat depth adjustment as standard
  • Back angle/seat tilt functionality in one lever
  • Available in multiple back/seat pad size combinations
  • Available in multiple upholstery finishes
  • Easy-click replaceable upholstery pads
  • Available with multiple armrest options
  • Available in castors, glides, and stop-go castors
  • Footplate and glides come as standard with draughtsman height gas stems

Good production stool option

Score Amazone

Score Amazone stool

Here’s a compact and easy to store saddle chair which encourages a beneficial pelvic position for your employee when they’re perching. The Score Amazone chair features:

  • Seat height adjustment
  • Available with either an adjustable or balance seat angle
  • Available in multiple upholstery options
  • Available in multiple upholstery finishes
  • Available with rotatable back/armrest
  • Available with a polished 5-star base
  • Available with a lockable foot control
  • Available in castors, glides, and stop-go castors
  • Footplate and glides come as standard with Draughtsman height gas stems

So the opportunities to bring ergonomics to staff working in Pharmaceuticals, Science, Health, Defence, Chemicals, Food, Manufacturing, Education and more are exciting and worthwhile. You’ve heard before that neglecting employee health and wellbeing is a false economy and you’ll hear it again.

Ergonomics isn’t about equipment alone…

Remember to encourage good set up and working habits amongst your staff – including taking regular short breaks and changing posture frequently.


Request a consultation with Posturite seating specialists to get personalised recommendations for the very best laboratory and production chairs.