Proper Lab Bench Height
Laboratory Workbench Set-up
Proper laboratory workbench height helps to reduce the risk of work-related fatigue and stress in the lab. Below are some tips when buying or using laboratory workbenches
When used inappropriately, laboratory workbenches can create an ergonomic risk. Most workbenches purchased are at fixed heights and cannot be raised or lowered. (We recommend lab tables that can be adjusted automatically or by hand crank).
Lab workbenches should be at the following heights
1. Detailed work: Workbench height should be above elbow height (approximately 37 to 43 inches above the floor).
2. Light work: Workbench height should be just below elbow height (approximately 34 to 37 inches above the floor).
3. Heavy work: Workbench should be 4-6 inches below elbow height (approximately 28 to 35 inches above the floor).
Preventive Measures for Laboratory Bench Work
Observing the following can reduce risks for injury:
1. Always assume proper sitting or standing posture.
2. When sitting, use only an adjustable stool or a chair with a built-in footrest to insure lower back, thigh, and foot support, or use an external footrest.
3. If leg clearance is not available, the laboratory workbench must not be used for seated work. Otherwise, create legroom under the bench by removing drawers, supplies and other materials under the workbench.
4. When standing for extended periods of time, use an anti-fatigue mat and a footrest for propping one foot up at a time to reduce joint strain and muscle fatigue.
5. Take frequent small breaks to interrupt repetition, awkward body posture, and static muscle work.