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Evans38004  
#1 Posted : 20 June 2019 08:55:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Evans38004

I know that most office chairs supplied in UK currently comply with British Standards and conform to the HSE Seating at Work / DSE regs.

I'm aware that most are designed to cope with persons up to 150kg - but I was wondering, whether anyone knows what height range are the common chairs designed for? 

Ideally I'd like an answer that states that the chair is designed for people of varying height say from 4' to 8'

Secondly, and this may be the controversial query:

If we supply a small choice standard office chairs to our office staff at say £70 each but an employee (with no medical issues) wants a different "better" more comfortable chair that costs £700 - can we say agree to this if they pay the difference?

(We also employ field staff with a small range of compliant safety footwear at a reasonable price, however the user can decide to choose other approved footwear from the catalogue that are more expensive and they pay the difference. Similarly we provide basic safety / VDU eyewear and if the user wants a more expensive pair - they pay the difference)

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 20 June 2019 09:24:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Most chairs do not define the width of the load either and there are some pretty wide loads waddling about the office.

Regarding price upgrades I can follow the footwear and eyewear arguments but office furniture? You get in to a weird world of who owns and is responsible for upkeep if you apply a similar practice to chairs (and why stop there what about the desk, ventilation, lighting...) - sorry drifting in to flippant but once you open the doors on choice a free for all will follow.

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 20/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 20/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 20 June 2019 09:24:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Most chairs do not define the width of the load either and there are some pretty wide loads waddling about the office.

Regarding price upgrades I can follow the footwear and eyewear arguments but office furniture? You get in to a weird world of who owns and is responsible for upkeep if you apply a similar practice to chairs (and why stop there what about the desk, ventilation, lighting...) - sorry drifting in to flippant but once you open the doors on choice a free for all will follow.

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 20/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 20/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
achrn  
#4 Posted : 20 June 2019 13:01:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

We do similar for boots and glasses (i.e. there are a range of boots for people to choose from, if they don't like any of them they can choose any other pair from our supplier (or supply their own) provided they meet the defined stanards, and the company pays a defined sum, with the user responsible for the additional).

For chairs we allow staff to supply their own, provided they meet functional standards, but we don't give them any contribution.  If they want to use their own chair, they can, but it's their chair and they are repsonsible for it and the company doesn't pay for it or have any ownership of it.  I have two people in this building who use their own chair.  In both cases the company supplied chairs would be functionally fine (they aren't too tall, too short or too wide for the chairs we supply), the individual just says they prefer their chair.

That's generally our approach - people can use their own equipment if it meets standards, but they pay for it themselves and are responsible for it.  As it happens, I'm typing this on my own keyboard, and if I write anything I use my own pen or pencil.  Some people have their own telephone headsets.  Pretty much everyone has their own calculator (they are all engineers).

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 20 June 2019 13:53:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Like any piece of work equipment, chairs will wear out and die. In recent years the main thing I have seen is the stem breaking. While this can sound funny-especially if the person in question is head of HR.   In reality it is potentially a very serious incident and I can imagine someone having a nasty accident in this way. So who is responsible for the upkeep of the chair the company or the owner? Remember under PUWER it is the fact that it is used for work that counts, not who owns it, so by allowing it on site you become responsible for it.

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
johnwatt  
#6 Posted : 20 June 2019 13:53:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
johnwatt

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post

We do similar for boots and glasses (i.e. there are a range of boots for people to choose from, if they don't like any of them they can choose any other pair from our supplier (or supply their own) provided they meet the defined stanards, and the company pays a defined sum, with the user responsible for the additional).

For chairs we allow staff to supply their own, provided they meet functional standards, but we don't give them any contribution.  If they want to use their own chair, they can, but it's their chair and they are repsonsible for it and the company doesn't pay for it or have any ownership of it.  I have two people in this building who use their own chair.  In both cases the company supplied chairs would be functionally fine (they aren't too tall, too short or too wide for the chairs we supply), the individual just says they prefer their chair.

That's generally our approach - people can use their own equipment if it meets standards, but they pay for it themselves and are responsible for it.  As it happens, I'm typing this on my own keyboard, and if I write anything I use my own pen or pencil.  Some people have their own telephone headsets.  Pretty much everyone has their own calculator (they are all engineers).

So what do you do if as a result of a DSE assessment, you identify that chair does meet the needs of the user?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2792/regulation/2/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/9

johnwatt  
#7 Posted : 20 June 2019 13:58:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
johnwatt

Originally Posted by: Evans38004 Go to Quoted Post

I know that most office chairs supplied in UK currently comply with British Standards and conform to the HSE Seating at Work / DSE regs.

I'm aware that most are designed to cope with persons up to 150kg - but I was wondering, whether anyone knows what height range are the common chairs designed for? 

Ideally I'd like an answer that states that the chair is designed for people of varying height say from 4' to 8'

Secondly, and this may be the controversial query:

If we supply a small choice standard office chairs to our office staff at say £70 each but an employee (with no medical issues) wants a different "better" more comfortable chair that costs £700 - can we say agree to this if they pay the difference?

(We also employ field staff with a small range of compliant safety footwear at a reasonable price, however the user can decide to choose other approved footwear from the catalogue that are more expensive and they pay the difference. Similarly we provide basic safety / VDU eyewear and if the user wants a more expensive pair - they pay the difference)

There is a lot of formal guidance on this topic found in HSG57:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg57.pdf

achrn  
#8 Posted : 20 June 2019 15:15:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: johnwatt Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post

For chairs we allow staff to supply their own, provided they meet functional standards,

So what do you do if as a result of a DSE assessment, you identify that chair does meet the needs of the user?

When I said "provided they meet functional standards" I assumed it was obvious that if someone proposes using something that doesn't meet the necessary we won't permit it to be used.

Do you want me to also spell out that if the person doesn't like the approved safety boots and proposes they supply their own flipflops we won't let them do that either?

Edited by user 20 June 2019 15:16:10(UTC)  | Reason: spelling

Connor35037  
#9 Posted : 20 June 2019 15:55:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Connor35037

Originally Posted by: johnwatt Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post

We do similar for boots and glasses (i.e. there are a range of boots for people to choose from, if they don't like any of them they can choose any other pair from our supplier (or supply their own) provided they meet the defined stanards, and the company pays a defined sum, with the user responsible for the additional).

For chairs we allow staff to supply their own, provided they meet functional standards, but we don't give them any contribution.  If they want to use their own chair, they can, but it's their chair and they are repsonsible for it and the company doesn't pay for it or have any ownership of it.  I have two people in this building who use their own chair.  In both cases the company supplied chairs would be functionally fine (they aren't too tall, too short or too wide for the chairs we supply), the individual just says they prefer their chair.

That's generally our approach - people can use their own equipment if it meets standards, but they pay for it themselves and are responsible for it.  As it happens, I'm typing this on my own keyboard, and if I write anything I use my own pen or pencil.  Some people have their own telephone headsets.  Pretty much everyone has their own calculator (they are all engineers).

So what do you do if as a result of a DSE assessment, you identify that chair does meet the needs of the user?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2792/regulation/2/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/9

https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

If the DSE Assessment indicates a problem you could go down the "Access to Work" route. They will come in and do their own assessment.

chris42  
#10 Posted : 20 June 2019 16:04:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: Evans38004 Go to Quoted Post

Ideally I'd like an answer that states that the chair is designed for people of varying height say from 4' to 8'

Secondly, and this may be the controversial query:

If we supply a small choice standard office chairs to our office staff at say £70 each but an employee (with no medical issues) wants a different "better" more comfortable chair that costs £700 - can we say agree to this if they pay the difference?

So just to be clear that is a fully adjustable chair for £70, because that sounds a little cheap, for any sort of swivel office chair.

Also

You ask about chairs and what height range they cover. I suspect you will not get an answer to this as the important dimension is the back of the knee (underside of thigh) to base of heal. Some people may have long legs and short body or short legs and long body, so it will not be their height that is the critical factor.

Additionally, a tall person (with no medical issues) may find a standard chair uncomfortable, and it would be up to the employer to obtain one that fits the person. So, it all depends on why they find it uncomfortable. Is it uncomfortable for them or is this just a “I want” issue? If they can sit on the seat with their feet flat on the floor, in theory should be ok, but you may need to find out why they feel it is uncomfortable. Some shorter people also find if the back rest will not move forward, that the chair is a problem.

Again, we don’t know what range you allow, but potentially chairs at the cheaper end may not be so well upholstered. However only you know the quality of the chair. I really would not go down the supply your own option, what happens if someone else sits in it, or it gets damaged.

Chris

thanks 2 users thanked chris42 for this useful post.
johnwatt on 21/06/2019(UTC), aud on 18/10/2020(UTC)
Evans38004  
#11 Posted : 21 June 2019 07:52:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Evans38004

Prior to posting my original query, I had scrutinized http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg57.pdf, but it did not give me the answer that I posted. Chris42 seems to have posted the nearest answer possible.

Connor35037 – thanks for the guidance - we already utilise the services of "Access to Work" for those who have "major" concerns (i.e. ones that cannot be resolved by the trained DSE assessors we have within the company. My concerns with “Access to Work" is that they occasionally contact the user, or manager directly by phone and complete their assessment using by asking a series of questions and consequently do not attend our site to review the work station and individual (but still charge the full fee for their risk assessment!!!)

Chris 42 - for office chairs that are supplied and used by the majority of our employees (deemed "DSE Users" by a national union agreement within our industry, even though the majority only occasionally are at shared workstations) we provide a choice of 3x types of chairs - which all fully comply with the British Standards & conform to HSE guidance. Due to the number purchased (total workforce >1,800 personnel) the deal is the chairs cost are £59 (~80% adoption), £92 (~10% adoption) & £225 (~5% adoption) - the other 5% of "users" are what I would term true DSE users (call center), or personnel who have medical issues and have been assessed by "Access to Work" and get a choice of x2 personal chairs costing £539 & £739 respectively. The choice of office / DSE chairs was agreed after a number of trials organised with the support of the union. My problem is 3 (average build individuals) out of 1,600 employees whose only issue is that they deem their cheap chairs to be uncomfortable and want the better ones.

Paragraph 14 of HSG57 includes the following:

When choosing or assessing seating design employers need to consider the needs of the individual, the type of work being carried out ....  There are simple basic checks to ensure that seating is safe and suitable:

  • Is the chair comfortable for the intended period of use?

Comfort is subjective - we have1600 employees stating the chairs are comfortable & 3 that say no

johnwatt  
#12 Posted : 21 June 2019 11:19:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
johnwatt

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: johnwatt Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post

For chairs we allow staff to supply their own, provided they meet functional standards,

So what do you do if as a result of a DSE assessment, you identify that chair does meet the needs of the user?

When I said "provided they meet functional standards" I assumed it was obvious that if someone proposes using something that doesn't meet the necessary we won't permit it to be used.

Do you want me to also spell out that if the person doesn't like the approved safety boots and proposes they supply their own flipflops we won't let them do that either?

My point i was actually trying to make is if the standard furniture does not meet the ergonomic requirements of the user, the business should be funding suitable furniture and not relying upon the employees doing this themselves. 

HAWA 9 - Duty not to charge employees for things done or provided pursuant to certain specific requirements.

No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions. 

fiesta  
#13 Posted : 21 June 2019 13:47:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fiesta

I've generally found that once you get above 6'4" to 6'6" not only the chair but also the desk might not be suitable. It can depend on the ergonomicais of the individual. i.e. long legs Vs a long back.

We've had to supply special chairs and raising desks to accomodate these individuals.

Most quality office furniture manufacturers / suppliers will have chairs designed for the larger loads.

As per the previous comment £70 sounds way too cheap for anything of any quality. £300, and more for anything out of the ordinary. We've paid going on for £1000 for an individual with a serious back issue.

Andy

achrn  
#14 Posted : 21 June 2019 15:09:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: johnwatt Go to Quoted Post

My point i was actually trying to make is if the standard furniture does not meet the ergonomic requirements of the user, the business should be funding suitable furniture and not relying upon the employees doing this themselves. 

HAWA 9 - Duty not to charge employees for things done or provided pursuant to certain specific requirements.

No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions. 

And we're not requiring the user source or fund necesary equipment and not proposing that and nothing I've said suggests we are either doing or proposing that so what is the problem?

I SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY said "the company supplied chairs would be functionally fine (they aren't too tall, too short or too wide for the chairs we supply), the individual just says they prefer their chair".

I honestly don't understand how you can read "we let people use their own equipment if they want to" as "we force people to buy their own equipment if they need it".  There's nothing functionally or ergonomically wrong with the company supplied keyboards - but I prefer my own (I have the identical model on all my computers and the company computer I use most).  There's nothing wrong with the company supplied pens, but I prefer my own - mine is much nicer, but it's waaaay too expensive for the company to supply to anyone.  The individuals who use their own chair have not identified any ergonomic failing with the supplied chairs, they both say they just prefer their own.

Do your really refuse to let people use anything they own at work in case the HSE swoops on you for forcing people to fund their own equipment?  Do you frisk them for pens when they come onto site?  Require them to strip naked?  (Actually I did work on a site that did that, but not for this reason).

Roundtuit  
#15 Posted : 21 June 2019 18:59:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions.
If it is NOT a specific requirement of a relevant statutory provision the employer may charge - am i obliged to provide seating to every worker or just those covered as fitting the definition of users under DSE?
Roundtuit  
#16 Posted : 21 June 2019 18:59:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions.
If it is NOT a specific requirement of a relevant statutory provision the employer may charge - am i obliged to provide seating to every worker or just those covered as fitting the definition of users under DSE?
asad664  
#17 Posted : 17 October 2020 10:55:17(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
asad664

Well, I have been using Space seating professional air grid chair for a long time and it is quite comfortable for me. It cured my back pain which became worst earlier. I'm glad to purchase this BEST OFFICE CHAIR FOR HIP PAIN for my office. The below site helped me choosing the chair.

Roundtuit  
#18 Posted : 17 October 2020 13:27:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported
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peter gotch on 18/10/2020(UTC), peter gotch on 18/10/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 17 October 2020 13:27:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported
thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
peter gotch on 18/10/2020(UTC), peter gotch on 18/10/2020(UTC)
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