What does ANSI/BIFMA stand for, and what does it mean? We’re breaking it all down here to give you a better understanding of what ANSI/BIFMA is and how it can affect you and your office furniture.
What Is ANSI?
The American National Standards Institute, more commonly known as ANSI, is an organization dedicated to designing standards of quality that are used to further enhance the quality of American life and enhance competitiveness between American businesses.
There are more than 10,000 ANSI-approved standards set in place that are designed to protect consumers, the workforce as a whole, and the general public. ANSI is also responsible for the first American Standard Safety Code, published in 1921, which detailed the importance of both head protection and eye protection for industrial workers.
What Is BIFMA?
BIFMA, or the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, is a nonprofit organization formed to create voluntary standards that promote safe working environments. BIFMA produces standards that specifically apply to institutional and business furnishings and also lobbies for legislation that will continue to make office furniture safer for workers and consumers.
A piece of office furniture must be put through a series of tests to determine if it meets the combined standards of both ANSI and BIFMA. These tests then determine how safe, functional, and sustainable the piece of office furniture may or may not be. After testing, only the furniture that has held up to ANSI/BIFMA standards will be approved.
Benefits of ANSI/BIFMA-Approved Furniture
There are some distinct advantages to purchasing furniture approved by BIFMA. First is the assurance that any BIFMA-approved furniture has met rigorous standards for safety. You can feel confident that any piece of BIFMA-approved furniture will help promote a functional and healthy working environment. Such an environment promotes an increase in productivity and a decrease in work-related injuries or accidents as a result. Workers are sure to feel safe and inspired.
While some furniture that is not BIFMA-approved is still technically safe, when purchasing BIFMA-approved furniture, you also receive peace of mind, which is unique to BIFMA-approved office furniture. Working environments are extremely important, and it is vital to provide the best one possible. So for your next office furniture purchase, consider BIFMA-approved options and how they could benefit you and your employees.