Do you buy office furniture online? If you do, you may have a wish list regarding its price, size, or color. But have you ever given a thought about buying a product with a safety certification?
One of the most reliable certifications in the United States comes from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a third-party testing company that has been certifying products for more than a century.
Why is it needed again?
Using a piece of UL-certified equipment will save you from major headaches in the future. This is because a product with the UL seal of approval has met the latest standards and regulations on design and safety. It's not just limited to products that have to be plugged into an AC outlet. The UL certification covers other relevant safety standards such as testing for any traces of hazardous chemicals and any excessive electronic emissions that might interfere with other electronic equipment. In easier terms, it acts as a security blanket, knowing that a product has undergone rigorous testing.
UL approval may not be always required by US law but in some cases, it is a voluntary move on the manufacturer's part. It can be pretty taxing: Manufacturer spend time, money, and effort to submit their products for testing.
Is UL a government agency?
The answer to this is an outright no. The Underwriters Laboratories, founded in 1894 by William Henry Merrill, is a legal, state-sanctioned monopoly in the USA. It is a private profit-making company that receives millions for its service fees.
In some states, it is illegal to sell electrical items without a UL inspection and certification. Its testing laboratories are approved by the U.S. federal agency Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to perform safety testing.
There are about 64 UL laboratories and testing and certification facilities across the world. It also covers safety tests for hazardous substances, water quality, food safety, performance testing, safety and compliance education, and environmental sustainability.
We’ve discussed the importance and role of UL. But why is it such a big deal?
If it’s just for your home office, it’s more of a personal choice. But for business, government, and education buyers, there might be consequences for buying products with no UL seal of approval. There’s a need to protect the scores of individuals who will be using the products.
Ergonomic products such as height adjustable desks and office treadmills need to comply with the entire scope of UL standards. For example, most height adjustable desks do not have an anti-collision detector, and that is one requirement for the US UL standard. It may vary, though, when the test is done in Asia and Europe.
As for office treadmills, it must be able to support high volumes on a moving surface. Safety-critical components and other materials must also be consistent to provide maximum safety and protection for its users.
Think of it this way: Manufacturers spend money (about $8,000 minimum) and time to get their products tested because they are confident that their products are safe, competent, and engineered with high-quality materials.
Products with no UL certifications may be cheaper but they might not last and even give you more problems in the future. It's simply not worth the risk.
Some manufacturers can fake a UL certificate so it's best to check if a brand is included in the UL-certificate directory.
The bottom line: The FlexiSpot frames are UL-certified
If you are looking for an ergonomic product that bears the UL certification, look no further than FlexiSpot. Its desk frames are deemed safe by UL and other certification companies.
You will have peace of mind knowing that you have a home office product that you can trust.