Implications of providing office/contract chairs for employees who are working at home
On behalf of its members, the Furniture Industry Research Association has sought clarification from the OPSS (Office for Product Safety Standards) via the Hertfordshire Trading Standards Office (TS), to determine if the office chairs in use in the home environment are required to comply with the UK’s Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (FFFSR-1988 Regulations) in circumstances where they have already been tested to BS 7176: 2008 + A1; 2011.
We also sought an answer for a specific issue concerning mesh backed chairs with upholstered seats: Where an office chair has a mesh back with no filling, does the mesh require to meet the regulations? For compliance with the FFFS 1998 Regulations, a chair with mesh seat and back with no upholstery would not require any FR testing, yet the wording of the Regulations suggests that if the chair has an upholstered seat then the mesh back would be required to meet the match tests. This is an anomaly within the Regulations, and so FIRA has requested guidance from TS.