The scope of ANSI/BIFMA X6.4-2018 Occasional-Use Seating standard includes chairs normally used in common and shared spaces (waiting, reception, visitors, restaurants, etc) but also chairs used in the home environment, especially for home office workstations exponentially increased with the pandemic.
The BIFMA X6.4-2018 was recently also approved by ANSI (American National Standard Institute) becoming an ANSI / BIFMA standard.
The implementation by ANSI, a national body in charge in the United States, confirms the usefulness of this rule which also applies to regulate home working environments and therefore becomes even more relevant in times of covid-19. The pandemic itself and the need for an increasing number of people working in smart working could have accelerated the approval process by ANSI, precisely because it is important to understand that the seating requirements working at home require as much attention and awareness although different from those for office or public areas.
The updated standard defines the specific tests, laboratory equipment, test conditions and minimum recommended levels to be used to test and evaluate the safety, durability and structural adequacy of seating products for occasional use.
ANSI/BIFMA X6.4 was created in an attempt to establish a basis for identifying minimum safety and quality expectations for light use or occasional use seating applications.
The thought was the general public is unaware of commercial furniture testing.
They were speculating that small businesses maybe buying furniture for their office space from sources like Wayfair, or Amazon and that these businesses may not be buying something that is safe or will be durable enough to meet expectations for the application.
The new X6.4 standard uses the exact same tests as ANSI/BIFMA X5.4 Public and Lounge seating with the only exception being cyclic test cycles have been reduced by 50%.
Thus implicating that the product is safe, and durable enough to withstand occasional use over a 10 year period of time as opposed to X5.4 in which the cycles are intended to represent a product being used 8 hours per day 5 days a week 50 weeks/year for 10 years.
Because there is no residential seating test standard in the US many manufactures either tested to EN residential seating standards or they based some of their testing on ANSI/BIFMA X5.4.
Now with the release of ANSI/BIFMA X6.4 they may have a basis for ensuring their product is safe for the American market and durably enough to be used in a home office, light traffic commercial office space, or residential application.
UL, an active member of BIFMA and ISO / IEC 17025 accredited test laboratory since 2008, can provide furniture manufacturers with testing services according to all ANSI / BIFMA standards.
More information at the BIFMA online store.
Foto by (from above):
Garett Mizunaka (Unsplash)
Chris Benson (Unsplash)
Standsome Worklifestyle (Unsplash)