As we have covered in our overview of ANSI/BIFMA, ANSI and BIFMA are two organizations who have made it their mission to protect consumers and the workforce by promoting safe, healthy, and functional workplace environments. BIFMA, or the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, specifically creates and tests for rigorous standards of quality for office furniture. Meanwhile, ANSI, or the American National Standards Institute, aims to protect and to increase the welfare of Americans and American businesses. An ANSI/BIFMA-approved piece of furniture is one that has been tested and has passed all of the rigorous standards that have been determined by both organizations.
Testing of an Office Desk
Office desks are just one of the many types of office furniture that can be tested for ANSI/BIFMA standards. The testing varies from desk to desk, depending on which features the desk has, but all have to meet the requirements set for basic office desks. The testing can take days, depending on how many need to be completed. Each test focuses on one specific feature or part of the desk. An example of one of these tests is a horizontal surface static load test, which tests the strength of the desk by applying a predetermined amount of weight and force.
Passing ANSI/BIFMA Tests
So how does a desk pass? A desk passes an ANSI/BIFMA test by not breaking or falling apart and proving that it can withstand extreme amounts of pressure. This ensures high quality and superior construction, thereby securing the safety of any consumer using the desk. ANSI/BIFMA’s stamp of approval is really all about protecting consumers and making sure that the best products are being offered. If a product does happen to fail, a report is sent to detail why. This helps manufacturers and furniture companies fix any problems and address safety concerns, again ensuring that customers are receiving only the safest products.
The Voluntary Nature of ANSI/BIFMA Testing
Most organizations that set standards, like both ANSI and BIFMA, also regulate to make sure their standards are being met all across the board. ANSI/BIFMA standards and testing, however, are totally voluntary, and there is no regulating body. Furniture companies and manufacturers can choose whether or not their products are sent to testing labs. This means that for every ANSI/BIFMA stamp of approval, there was a conscious decision on the part of the company to provide only the best furniture for their customers.