If you’re researching the best industrial workbench for your laboratory, you’ve likely come across the option of including an adjustable height feature.
This style of workbench allows the user to raise or lower the working surface to a standing or sitting height. But is an adjustable height industrial workbench worth the added feature, or is this a fad that doesn’t provide any real, long-term benefits?
It’s very much the opposite. An industrial workbench with a built-in feature that allows a user to adjust its height offers many benefits to both you and your employees. Here are four reasons why this type of workbench is a worthwhile investment.
1. Your Employees’ Health Depends On It
If you haven’t heard, sitting is the new smoking. Recent studies suggest that extended sitting is a hazard to health.
When you sit all day, your overall health goes into decline. According to WebMD:
- Those who sit are twice as likely to get heart disease as those who stand.
- You’re more likely to die earlier from any cause if you sit for long stretches of time.
- The effects of too much sitting are difficult to counter with exercise.
- Your risk for diabetes, a deep vein thrombosis and obesity go up.
- Your back muscles, neck and spine can suffer from the stress of sitting.
- You may be more likely to develop varicose veins.
Sitting at an industrial workbench for an entire shift, for example, can feel unnatural to the body. Unfortunately, for many workers in manufacturing or laboratory settings, sitting is often part of the job.
When employees are able to adjust the height of their workspaces, this reduces the risk for injuries that can be caused by working in unnatural positions. And it’s often an easy adjustment. Adjustable hydraulic benches, in particular, allow employees to simply use a manual hand crank or electric control to lift and lower the bench to a comfortable height. Some controls on these adjustable workbenches also allow you to preset positions for convenience.
2. Injuries Can Be Costly
You may be asking yourself how the workbench you choose could possibly impact whether an employee suffers an injury or not.
The ability to adjust the height of a workbench impacts whether an employee is in his or her optimal body position, called neutral posture. This posture is where your body is at its strongest and most efficient.
Too much sitting goes against the foundation of ergonomics, which focuses on defining or creating a work environment around the worker, rather than the other way around. The goal is to reduce the risk of injury and increase comfort in a workspace.
Not doing so can be costly. OSHA reports that for every $3 spent on workers’ compensation claims, $1 of that results from a lack of ergonomic protection. Neck and lower back pain cost $88 billion in health spending each year, according to the Journal of American Medical Association.
Workplace injuries that cause employees to miss an extensive number of days can have a financial domino effect on several areas of a business. When employees experience injuries, it can lead to days away from work and costly downtime for an employer. A company may also be responsible for medical bills depending on the cause of the injury.
3. Your Choice Doesn’t Have To Be Either/Or
While you may be considering an adjustable industrial workbench, you may have also spotted some workbenches that include other features you need, such as ample storage, heavy duty frames or organizational tools.
The good news is that your choice of industrial workstation doesn’t have to be an either/or. You can get everything you need for your demanding applications without having to prioritize one need over another.
The best adjustable height workbench manufacturers will allow you to customize your product based on your specific needs and industrial applications. Items to consider include:
- Casters, which play an important role in moving and stabilizing your mobile industrial workbench
- Lab countertops, which impact whether your bench's work surface is resistant to hazards like chemicals, corrosion and heat
- An industrial workbench with storage that includes features like drawers, cabinets and shelves that can maximize the efficiency of workers
- Organizational tools, such as peg board or bin rails
- Utility options, which can include lighting, power strips and power poles that allow wires to drop from the ceiling
- Weight load capacity, with extra heavy duty benches supporting up to 10,000 to 20,000 pounds in weight load capacity
- Workbench construction, ranging from 12 to 16 gauge steel construction and 2- to 3-inch square legs for support
With any purchase of an adjustable industrial workbench, you’ll also want to consider the chair you buy to go with the workbench. If ergonomics is an important consideration, check out industrial furniture chairs that offer the proper support when the workbench is lowered to the sitting position.
4. It’s Better To Be Proactive Than Reactive
Buying an adjustable height industrial workbench makes sense for many reasons, but they all have one thing in common…they show that making a proactive decision is a better business decision.
Happy and healthy employees are more productive, you’re less likely to experience workplace injuries with ergonomic safeguards put into place, and, finally, you can ensure your adjustable workstation has everything it needs for employees to be productive.
In today’s business climate, it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. Incorporating a workbench design into your work area that promotes the well-being of your employees and is a good investment in your company’s future is a sound business choice.