Mesh chairs - OHS information sheet

January 2013

The purpose of this information sheet is to outline the minimum functional requirements that must be met where mesh back chairs have been chosen to be used as task chairs at workstations.

This information is based on the evaluation report provided by David Caple & Associates Pty Ltd and applies to all mesh back task chairs used on the Australian campuses of Monash University and within Monash controlled entities.

1. General requirements

All new chairs must be purchased through the university's Approved Supplier Panel and meet the requirements of AS/NZS4438:1997 – Height adjustable swivel chairs and are certified to AFRDI Level 6.

2. Functional requirements

  • A positive lumbar support needs to be provided either through the profile of the mesh design or through a supplementary easy to use adapter.
  • The width of the backrest needs to ensure full elbow flexibility in the lumbar area.
  • When adjusted to a vertical orientation for data entry work, good lumbar support must be the dominant contact point between the backrest and the user. There should not be the sensation of feeling "pushed forward" in the mid back or shoulder area.
  • Where mesh back chairs are specified, the option of smaller profile and more positive adjustment options should be considered for the smaller percentiles of the population and those with special needs.
  • The adjustment mechanisms provided with the mesh back chairs should enable the backrest to be locked in at least an upright position and preferably other positions to suit different task applications.
  • If a free float facility is provided for the backrest, it should be easily adjustable and tensioned to suit the weight of the occupant. It should also have an integrated option with the seat to move in linkage with the backrest to maintain a stable seated posture.

3. Mesh Chair Rating

  • Each chair has been rated for its usability, functionality, adaptability and re-use using the following rating scale:

95/5

Acceptable as task chair. Features allow flexibility that would suit 95% of users

70/30

Acceptable for use as task chair with a few restrictions. Consultation with end users is mandatory, as features provide only minimal flexibility and would suit only 70% of users

  • The range of mesh chairs available through the university's Approved Supplier Panel and their ratings are outlined below.

Supplier

Chair Model/Monash product code

Rating

UCI

Relate - UC-CTMH-A

95/5

Schiavello

Liberty - SV-CTMH-A

70/30

Zenith

Domino - ZE-CTMH-A

70/30

4. Other considerations

  • The open weave fabric provides minimal protection to the user and may lead to thermal comfort issues particularly in air conditioned and/or open plan offices.

For further advice and assistance contact your OHS Consultant/Advisor or OH&S on ext. 51016 or by email on ohshelpline@monash.edu.