Instructions

All sections must be completed. See Appendix A for diagrams.

 

Lab Benches, Equipment Benches and Write up/Computer Workstations Inside of Lab

 

For purposes of these requirements, “benches and write up/computer workstations are work counters that are often used by employees to conduct their experiments, place smaller equipment and use a computer to write up research data.

 

“Equipment benches” are worksurfaces designated for lab machines that are used by multiple staff. These machines might include but are not limited to microscopes, hoods, pickers, sequencers, autoclaves, centrifuges, analyzers, lasers and computers.   There is a greater emphasis placed on mobility/movability (wheels, glides) for service access and increased weight capacity for heavier machines. Seismic anchoring may be required for mobile lab benches. Adjustability of work benches is needed to accommodate people’s sizes and to meet ADA requirements in the laboratory.  

 

Since the lab may consist of a mix of both “adjustable-height” and “fixed-height” benches, the following requirements and optimal and acceptable design criteria are offered:

Lab Bench, Equipment Bench and Write-up/Computer Workstations Inside Lab (*See Diagrams 1, 1a, 1b and 2 in Appendix A)

Height - one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred: User adjustable (electric or crank) with a range of 29 – 44 inches

□ Minimum: Maintenance adjustable (telescoping legs or panel hung cantilevers) with a range of 29-40 inches

□ Acceptable: If top must be fixed, set at 29 inches for seated bench height and 36 inches for standing bench height

Width of top surface – one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred: 48 inch and 72 inch modular

□ Minimum: Built-in work areas that meet all other acceptable/minimum requirements

Minimum:  Width underneath top surface - provide knee clearance of 30 inches ( ADA compliant) with no pencil drawers or aprons at designated knee space

Minimum: Depth of top surface – 30 inch depth; 1.5 inch splash sill at back of user or maintenance adjustable top surface to contain spills

Depth underneath work surface – one of the following must be checked:

□  Preferred: 22 inches or greater at the level of the knee and 23.6 inches or greater at the level of the feet (ADA compliant)

□ Minimum: 17.3 inches at the level of the knee and 23.6 inches at the level of the feet (19” for ADA)

Minimum: Thickness of top surface – 1 inch epoxy or phenolic resin

Minimum: Finish – non-porous matte finish

Minimum: Edges - rounded front edges with 3mm radii; no sharp corners, cut-outs, or sharp edges

Minimum:  Weight capacity – 750 lbs. for lab bench and write up/computer workstations; 1500 lbs. for dedicated large equipment benches

Minimum: Adjustment controls - easy to reach and operate from normal working postures, do not interfere with users’ work positions and allow for intuitive, safe use. Placed and designed to prevent inadvertent movement or operation of surface

Minimum: Cables and electrical components – consider 1.0 inch splash sill along rear section of fixed bench to protect electrical and data cables; safely and securely attached to work surface/base to prevent interference with the operation of workstation components and to avoid hazards for people or equipment in or near the workstation

Minimum:  For all user and maintenance adjustable surfaces, usage instructions readily available and provided to end user

Minimum: For all user and maintenance adjustable surfaces, provide label on surface with manufacturer name, product name, model number, manufacturer/vendor contact information and other information necessary to allow for service and warranty

Storage underneath benches and write-up/computer stations – one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred:  Can be added or removed from work surface; mobile and locking casters; height not to exceed 27 inches

□ Minimum:  With built-in base cabinet height not to exceed 28 inches to allow for placement of bench top at 29 inches

Shelving– one of the following must be checked:

□ Minimum:  >1.5 inch lip on all sides to provide restraint for chemicals etc.; adjustable in 1 inch increments and removable; set lowest shelf at 55 inches above floor

Minimum: If floor utility chase, all of the following must be checked:

□  44 inch height minimum to align with highest position of adjustable bench

□  Access plates removable with top surface in place

□ Utility controls/spigots/outlets placed within easy reach on vertical frame above chase

 

Value-Added Features (not required)

Digital display

Programmable preset buttons for electrical height adjustability

Electrical for entire desk including motor and parts meets UL962 criteria

Fast, quiet and smooth operation

Option available for casters for versatility and ease of maintenance and accessibility

 

 

Write-up/Computer Workstations Outside of Lab

 

For the purpose of these guidelines, “write-up/computer workstations outside of lab” are designated workstations staffed by employees to conduct data entry, analysis and research work at their computers. Where possible, write-up stations should be located adjacent to but outside the lab so people are not encumbered with PPE such as safety glasses, gloves, lab coats as they work at the computer.  Since these workstations may consist of a mix of both “adjustable-height” and “fixed-height” stations, the following guidelines and optimal and acceptable design criteria are offered:

Height - one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred:  Entire work surface is user height-adjustable (pneumatic or electric with a one touch button control) from 22-48 inches (+/- 0.7 inch) or greater from the floor to the top of the work surface (ADA compliant)

□ Minimum: Entire work surface is user or installer height adjustable from 22-30 inches (+/- 0.7 inch) or more. If table is pneumatic, forces to adjust table do not exceed 7 lbs.

□ Acceptable: If top must be fixed, set at 29 inches

Width of top surface – one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred (for mixed-use workstations - computer, paperwork and phone use): At least 60 inches (minus 2 inches for pinch points)

□  Minimum (for computer workstations): At least 27.6 inches or greater (functional requirements of the task will most likely dictate a larger width)

Width underneath work surface – one of the following must be checked:

□  Preferred (for mixed-use workstations - computer, paperwork and phone use): At least 41 inches unobstructed leg room

□  Minimum (for computer workstations): At least 20.5 inches or greater, 30 inches wide or greater for ADA (functional requirements of the task will most likely dictate a larger width)

Depth underneath work surface – one of the following must be checked:

□  Preferred: 22 inches or greater at the level of the knee and 23.6 inches or greater at the level of the feet (ADA compliant)

□ Minimum: 17.3 inches at the level of the knee and 23.6 inches at the level of the feet (19” for ADA)

Minimum: Thickness of top surface – > 1.5 inches (laminate)

Minimum: Edges - rounded front edges with 3mm radii; no sharp corners, cut-outs, or sharp edges

Minimum: Stability - structurally rigid and stable; work surfaces and bases meet ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 2008 requirements

Minimum:  Weight capacity - freestanding work surface has a functional load capacity of at least 200 pounds

Minimum: Adjustment controls - easy to reach and operate from normal working postures, do not interfere with users’ work positions and allow for intuitive, safe use. Placed and designed to prevent inadvertent movement or operation of surface

Minimum: Cables and electrical components – safely and securely attached to work surface/base to prevent interference with the operation of workstation components and to avoid hazards for people or equipment in or near the workstation

Minimum:  For all user and maintenance adjustable surfaces, usage instructions readily available and provided to end user

Minimum: For user and maintenance adjustable surfaces, provide label on surface with manufacturer name, product name, model number, manufacturer/vendor contact information and other information necessary to allow for service and warranty

Storage underneath write-up/computer stations – one of the following must be checked:

□ Preferred:  Can be added or removed from work surface; mobile and locking casters; height not to exceed 21 inches

          □ Minimum:  When fixed height workstation - height not to exceed 27 inches

Minimum: For storage above write-up/computer workstations, adjustable and/or easily removable to accommodate monitor heights while sitting or standing

Chairs and Stools

 

In all cases, the chairs and stools must include seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment and backrest height adjustment to fit the user.  Armrests are not advised for lab stools as they hinder moving close into the bench.  Soft wheel casters are required for hard floor surfaces and hard casters are required for carpeted surfaces.  For chairs/stools located inside the lab, fabric must be a non-porous, non-skid material that can be cleaned and disinfected.

 

Ergonomics Requirements for Tall Task Stools at standing height benches 36 inches or higher

 

Ergonomics Requirements for Task Chairs at sitting height benches 22-34 inches or computer workstations outside of lab

 

Ergonomic related guidelines for fume hoods, gloveboxes, and biosafety cabinets will be provided in those specific sections of the guidelines.