Latest updates to standards
The Furniture Industry Research Association has published its latest summary of standards covering the first quarter of 2019. The summary includes details of four new standards alongside information of further standards in development, under amendment or which may be withdrawn.
The four new standards published in the first quarter of 2019 were confirmed as:
- BS ISO 7171: 2019 Furniture. Storage units. Test methods for the determination of stability
- BS EN 1335-2: 2018 Office furniture. Office Work Chair. Safety Requirements
- ISO 7175-1: 2019 Furniture - Children's cots and folding cots for domestic use - Part 1: Safety requirements
- ISO 7175-2:2019 Furniture - Children's cots and folding cots for domestic use - Part 2: Test Methods
As regards non-domestic tables and desks / office desks, FV EN 527-2:2016/FprA1:2018 Office furniture - Work tables - Part 2: Safety, strength and durability requirements, is due to have an amendment in the coming months. Part 5 of ISO 9241-5:1998 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements will also see quite significant changes. At that point, ISO 9241-6:1999 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 6: Guidance on the work environment will then see revisions. The new ISO/WD 19682 Furniture Tables Test methods for the determination of stability, strength and durability standard also remains in development.
Turning to the non-domestic seating / office seating category it was confirmed that work continued on revisions to both prEN 1335-1 Office furniture - Office work chair - Dimensions - Determination of dimensions and also prEN 16139: 2013 - Furniture - Strength, durability and safety - Requirements for nondomestic seating. Further details are expected in due course.
Discussions continued on merging EN 14073-2: 2004 Office furniture - Storage furniture - Safety requirements and BS EN 16122:2012 Domestic and non-domestic storage furniture. Test methods for the determination of strength, durability and stability. This would result in one standard covering all non-domestic storage.
Further standards which are in development, or earmarked for amendment, and are highlighted in the Quarterly Standards Update include those within the following areas: educational furniture, laboratory furniture, beds and mattresses, domestic seating, domestic tables, domestic storage, kitchens, outdoor furniture, children's furniture, flammability, hardware and finally surface finishes.
The Quarterly Standards Update also confirmed that any major changes to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) would be unlikely until after the outcome of the Grenfell enquiry. Although discussions with relevant parties continue with the Research Association being heavily involved.
It also carries important details of plans by The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to restrict the use of formaldehyde in products. They would like to see all wood based panels conforming to the E1 level for low formaldehyde emissions, with consumer products being subject to the E1 formaldehyde emissions level. ECHA will shortly publish draft regulations after which there will be a public consultation. The Furniture Industry Research Association confirmed it will continue to communicate with members on this key issue.