A cleanroom is a specially designed room with a controlled environment. It can be said that the cleanroom is one of the cleanest and purest environments where humans work. These rooms are designed specially so that the standard and the atmosphere can be maintained inside the room. So, employees wear special cleanroom suits and other types of equipment to work inside this room.
In a cleanroom, an employee spends a long time in their workstation. So, it can be easily deduced that it is widely used y them. But, since they are working there for hours, they need to feel comfortable. The cleanroom gears are already there and employees need something extra that can provide the proper comfort while they are working. Besides that, due to the special environment of this room, you cannot use regular seating arrangements. Therefore, you need proper Cleanroom Seating that is comfortable and also long-lasting. This article provides some guidance about how to provide the maximum comfort to your cleanroom employees.
In a cleanroom, specially designed cleanroom chairs or stools are used. This furniture is made with non-porous, smooth surfaces so that they do not attract dirt or dust. But, the si not all the things, An employee will sit ion that chair or stool and work. So, they need to be comfortable. Regular furniture used in a lab might not be applicable here. This is because employees can have varied weight and body shape and you need to choose the seating arrangement in such a way that every employee gets their won perfect and comfortable seating.
Which one is better? Stool or chair
Well, this is a tricky question. Since simple stools or chairs do not work in this atmosphere you need to be extra cautious to choose the seating arrangement, etc. The answer is both if they are ideal. It depends on the situation and workflow of the cleanroom. In some cleanrooms, the chair is necessary; while in others, stools are more preferable.
Stools are backless; so there will be a lesser amount of new particles generated. While chairs are prone to generate more particles over time. But, a stool does not offer that ergonomic support. It just allows you to have a place to sit. On the contrary, a chair, especially an ergonomic chair, can provide a person with a space to sit, and enough support for the lower back and neck.
But, if an employee needs to move or stand up frequently, a stool can be convenient. But, if your employees need to work on their particular workstation, you need to buy ergonomic chairs for them.
Ergonomic and swiveling stools or chairs are best for cleanrooms. This is because the swiveling chairs allow the employees to move from one space to another without leaving their seats.
So, the debate of chairs vs. stools is not applicable here. If they need to move a lot, a stool is great. If the workers need to sit around for hours, a chair is just as fine as you can think of it.
The Chair vs Stool Debate
Stools offer several advantages that can’t be matched by a standard cleanroom chair. The backless aspect of the stool means that there is a much smaller chance of new particles being generated or introduced into the environment from rubbing against the technician’s back, as well as an ergonomic gains through forced posture. However, stools can be uncomfortable after an extended period of time. Hutchins & Hutchins Inc recommends using stools with glides at workstations that require very little movement or in areas that don’t require a user to be there for hours on end. On the other hand, using a clean room stool with casters can be an efficient way for an employee to remain seated and move from workstation to workstation. Having no backrest or arm rests significantly decreases the likelihood of cleanroom garments being caught as the employee moves around.
Should you decide that chairs are a better choice for your particular environment, follow these 11 steps to make sure that you’re maximizing your employee’s comfort and ergonomic support.
- Measure their height and weight. An employee weighing over 250 lbs will require a roomier chair. Take a look at our selection of cleanroom chairs for plus sizes. These same height measurements should be used when purchasing a stool as well.
- Measure the seat height and the cylinder size. Ideally the seat of the chair will be able to support the thighs comfortably with feet resting firmly on the floor or foot rest. The front edge of the seat’s height should also match the length of your lower leg. This measurement is known as the Popliteal height.
- Determine the depth of the seat. When a worker sits in the chair they should have a space of 1″ to 3″ between the back of their knees and the seat. In this position, their back will be supported by the backrest and the seat cushion will provide a large surface area for weight distribution.
- Measure the seat width. The seat should be wider than the hips. If armrests are to be used then ensure there is an additional 2″ on the total width of the seat for maximum comfort.
- Make sure that the Forward Tilt Seat Angle, when used, does not force the body to thigh angle to fall below 90 degrees. This will cause the technician discomfort.
- Check the Seat Cushion to make sure its ideal for your needs. Keep in mind that a contour cushion with high density padding will be better for weight distribution. A contoured seat, or saddle seat, will also help to eliminate the sensation of sliding out of the chair when in a forward leaning position.
- Ensure that the backrest meets your cleanroom’s needs and supports the technicians lumbar spinal contours. There are backrests with contours available. Low and narrow backrests are generally used for tasks requiring upper body mobility and frequent arm movement. Tall backrests should be used for more sedentary roles. The backrest in this instance should support the shoulders as well as the low back area. Also note that generally speaking, the height of the backrest will be higher for women, whereas men will require a lower placement.
- If Armrests are to be used then they must be placed in such a way that allows the worker to sit close to the workstation without impeding their mobility, but also to be able to use them while the technicians back is firmly touching the backrest. The exact size of the armrest is important because if it’s too thin then it may interfere with the users arm movement, but if it is too wide then it may not offer enough support. Armrests should be placed in such a way that they don’t catch any cleanroom garments that the user is wearing.
- Decide between Casters or Glides. For stations that require little movement, glides may be the ideal option. However if the station requires mobility between sections then casters are encouraged. Casters come in an ESD option for cleanrooms that require static control.
- Ensure the upholstery of the cleanroom chair is either vinyl or polyurethane on the seat and back. Cloth upholstery should not be considered as its use will produce particulates. Polyurethane and vinyl cushions have been filled with foam and sealed to prevent particulates from entering the cleanroom environment as air escapes from the weight of a technician using the chair. These materials are also easier to clean.
- Keep in mind that the standard cleanroom or ESD chair is generally a five legged, tubular steel, aluminium, or reinforced plastic base. Deviations from this may result in a non-cleanroom compliant chair.
The best way to choose a stool or chair is to ask for a free demonstration from the supplier. But, before you start choosing a model, you need to search on the internet to find multiple models of stools and chairs. Also, make sure to check the user reviews for a better outlook. Try to shortlist a few models and contact your supplier. Ask them to have a free demonstration and allow your employees to sit on the models to determine their comfort level and choose.
If you want to buy the right chair or stool that can provide you comfort then you can contact Globallabsupply. This is a well-known supplier of lab types of equipment and they have a large collection of different stools and chairs for the cleanroom.