As the 90s approached, health and safety issues within the working environment became a priority that did not just include trade workers, but also affected office workers in a positive way.
This transition of health and safety concerns that extended to office employees resulted in the requirement for ergonomic office chairs, furniture and equipment and deemed as essential for the office environment since the turn of the century.
Most office furniture that are approved with AFRDI Certification (Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute) will indicate that a specific model of a chair has completed exhaustive testing and meets all stipulated standards.
The scope of AFRDI’s services for more than three decades has been specific over the years and has been internationally acknowledge for their testing methods of commercial and domestic furniture for certification. Currently AFRDI leads furniture testing and to date has endorsed and provided almost 5,000 certifications for a range of office furniture (mostly chairs) and accredited by NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) of Australia under ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
In summary, ARFDI is a professional agency that only focuses on chair quality (Ergonomic and Standard Office Chairs) in Australia.
There are various certifications based on colour codes (Blue Tick, Green Tick), and approval standards such as the AS.NZS 4438 and the ARFDI 142 rated load. Below are brief descriptions of the colour codes and approval standard codes that will provide better understanding of them.
Most of these ratings apply to study desks, desks and cabinets as well, for better understanding inquire from the sales reps at furniture stores in the Melbourne area.
Blue Tick Certification Scheme
The Blue Tick indicates that products bearing this tag meet certain standards established by AFDRI revolving around functionality, safety, performance, durability, and finish quality. The certification is based on a representative sample of specific products provided by manufacturers.
Green Tick Certification Scheme
The green tick revolves around sustainability within the scope of furniture manufacturing. This tick is further divided into Green Platinum, Green Gold and Green Silver which takes into account the ethical sourcing of the materials that are used to make the chair, responsible use of energy and water, waste management related to efficient or optimal use of raw material, recyclability and effectiveness and practicality of design for both ergonomic or standard office furniture.
AS.NZS 4438 (Levels 4, 5 and 6)
This certification covers height adjustable office swivel chairs in both Australia and NZ for chairs that are capable of accommodating users who weigh up to 110 kg. Level 4 certification is the lowest standard where these chairs are generally subjected to ‘normal use’ and Level 6 being the highest standard which are chairs that are capable of withstanding extreme use conditions such as at military installations, emergency control rooms and police stations.
AFRDI 142: Rated Load Standard
This requirement of this standard is mainly focused on the ‘weight of users’ who weigh more than 110 kg. The categories are the 135 SS, 135 MS, 160 SS and the 160 MS. The 135 SS are chairs for those who weigh up to 135 kg and only use the chair for 8 hours a day whereas the 135 MS is for users that also weight up to 135 KGs; however the chairs are to be used for more than 8 hours a day (multiple shifts). The same applies to the 160 ratings which are for users who weigh up to 160 kg for single shifts (SS) or multiple shifts (MS).