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Modernizing Individual Commercial Office Furnishings Safety Requirements

Office furnishings have undergone many innovations. UL has helped develop new requirements to keep up with this wave of innovation the result of which is a single streamlined standard with modernized requirements, UL 2999.

Modern office space

August 19, 2020

UL has helped developing standards that have been the industry benchmark for office furnishings for more than 40 years. During this time, furnishings have undergone many innovations such as height adjustable tables, benching systems and video conferencing centers to name a few. Following recommendations of stakeholders and working closely with the Standards Technical Panels (STPs) of both UL 1286, the Standard for Office Furnishings, and UL 962, the Standard for Household and Commercial Furnishings, our nonprofit affiliate has worked hard to ensure that our standards keep up with this wave of innovation. The result is UL 2999, the Standard for Individual Commercial Office Furnishings, that combines UL 1286 and UL 962 into a single streamlined standard with modernized requirements. The new standard represents a benefit to the industry and to office furniture manufactures, as they now can refer to one comprehensive standard.

“The consensus of the two STPs helped our nonprofit affiliate streamline the creation of a new standard for individual commercial office furnishings. An additional confirmation that synergy with the industry exists, and that, together, we can empower safe innovation as a way to move on and believe in safer and more sustainable future,” stated Mike O’Hara, GM and director of UL’s furniture group.

The new standard requirements cover individual commercial office furnishings specifically. The mechanical tests in UL 2999 reference the industry accepted Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) standards for these types of products. The products are used in accordance with the National Electrical Code, American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70. They are intended for dry locations only. These furnishings include both electrified and nonelectrified and may include, but not limited to:

  • Motor-operated tables and desks;
  • Tables and desks (nonmotorized);
  • Storage cabinets;
  • Seating;
  • Bench systems; and
  • Motorized adjustable carts and stands for audio/video equipment.

Starting now all new individual commercial office furniture products will be tested and certified for safety using UL 2999.

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