Finding the right design and ideal set-up for your workstations
Workstation systems are used in a wide range of areas, which means they also need to be tailored to the specific requirements in each case.
In Maintenance departments, for example, mobility and flexibility are top of the list. In Production and Assembly departments, the focus is on stability and robustness. In laboratories, however, there are high demands on cleanliness and the ability to easily clean the surfaces. What’s more, depending on the work being performed on them, workbenches and workstations also need to dissipate static charges (Electrostatic Discharge – ESD) in a controlled manner to ensure the workstation remains charge-neutral, and must be resistant to chemicals.
Ergonomic requirements for workstation systems
Ergonomic factors play a crucial role when putting together a workstation. For example, the workstation should be height adjustable, so that it can be easily adapted to suit the employee’s body size and working height. Moreover, electrical adjustment functions will further improve ease of use. For a workstation to be ergonomic, the employee’s visual space and area of reach should also be coordinated with one another. Correctly considering all these factors will not only boost your employees’ performance and motivation, but also productivity.
More information about workstation ergonomics can be found here.
Work tables for students and trainees
In modern training workshops and schools, the students and trainees need ergonomic, safe workstations. Workbenches should be robust, resistant and have an attractive design. After all, learning is not just easier, but also much more fun when the learning environment is pleasant and comfortable. Ergonomics also plays a key role in this respect, too. In order to prevent posture problems with potentially severe consequences, it is important to be able to adjust the workbench to the individual’s body size, especially when students and trainees are growing.
Selecting and designing an ergonomic workstation
Since a workstation consists of various different components, you need to consider a number of aspects when selecting the right workbench, work chair, workplace lighting and accessories.
What equipment do I need?
A workstation that has been optimally set up consists of different elements.
- Workstation, including with castors or a rechargeable battery
- Perforated panel with hooks, holders and boxes
- Storage shelves
- Support columns
- Viewing windows
- Lighting units
- Media tracks
- PC casings
- Drawer casings
The specific features in each case depend on the work that the employee will be performing at the workstation.
Which workbench type is the right one for me?
As a basic rule, work tables can be distinguished into workbenches with a projecting worktop and workbenches without a projecting worktop. The latter option is better suited for when you need to install workstations in a row or form work islands. The models are also differentiated into stationary and mobile models. With mobile workstations, you have the benefit of being able to manoeuvre them quickly into place. You can also choose between fully configured variants and workbenches that you put together yourself.
What load capacity is required?
You should ensure that the workbench and corresponding components have sufficient load capacity for the materials, tools and components that the employees will be using in their work. Workstations and workbenches have a load capacity of 250 to 1000 kg, depending on how they are configured.
Which worktop is right for me?
You can choose from five different worktops depending on your specific needs. Wooden worktops (made from bamboo and beech) are ideally suited to demanding heavy-duty work. Wooden worktops also conserve resources and are environmentally friendly as they are made from sustainable raw materials. Worktops with an Eluplan plastic covering are highly suitable for workstations used in assembly, testing or laboratories, as they are guaranteed to be free of distortion. Eterlux worktops are highly suitable for areas requiring a high level of resistance to scratching and heat.
Do I need a fixed or variable working height?
In order to meet the ergonomic requirements for workstations, we recommend selecting a height-adjustable workstation. The workstation can be adjusted either manually or electrically, depending on the model you choose. Height adjustment is ideal for shift work or for switching between a sitting and a standing workstation, for example. The table height can also be adjusted to suit work on components of different heights.
How much storage space do I need?
Drawers, inserted shelves, open storage bins, Easyfix hooks and holders ensure that all tools and small parts are neatly and clearly stored and sorted at all times. This enables employees to quickly access the items they need, saving time and stress when working. Drawer division materials and rigid foam inlays are further ways of ensuring a tidy workstation. Most workbenches and workstations can also be expanded with individual attachments to create more work space. The design can consist of perforated panels, swivelling side perforated panels and swivel arms, allowing for optimal use of the employee’s area of reach. Media tracks, Multifix rails and shadowboards are also useful features, as are equipment tracks with runners
What is the ideal workstation lighting?
The right light at the right location increases employee productivity, well-being and satisfaction at the workstation. Modern LED lamps are also maintenance-free and reduce energy costs. You need to select the right lighting for the respective circumstances. For example, lighting on the support arms and under the storage shelves, lateral lighting or arm-mounted luminaires. In this way, employees can optimally illuminate not only their workstation but the workpiece as well. As a basic rule, the ideal set-up is a combination of direct and indirect light at the workstation.
(Left) Entire workstation is lit
(Right) Local lighting by a laterally fixed lighting unit or arm-mounted luminaire
Is a corner solution required?
Special corner solutions are available for when a workstation extends round a corner. These solutions can be designed with or without attachments. As a result, you can make optimal use of the available space. When selecting the workbenches, it is also important to ensure there is sufficient legroom for employees to sit or stand comfortably at their workstation. Special corner worktops with a shortened, recessed support leg are available for this purpose.
What sitting and standing aids are required?
An ergonomic work chair is another important part of workstation equipment, in order to ensure that your employees’ health is not harmed by sitting or standing for an extended period of time. For example, there are swivel work chairs, standing stools and work stools. Protective floor mats are recommended for standing workstations. They come with a flexible surface into which your feet sink slightly, stimulating the circulation.
Workbench models designed for the areas of ESD and the storage of hazardous goods provide the ideal solution for employees to work safely at laboratory tables or in the electronics industry.
Ergonomic workstations and storage equipment comprises the following elements:
In addition to workstation systems, workstations and storage also include tool cabinets, tool issuing systems, roller cabinets, tool trolleys, storage technology, environmental technology, ladders and platforms and room systems and containers. Find out more about the topics of ergonomics at the work place and the 5s method here. This takes you to the overview.
Are you looking for some expert advice?
Our comprehensive know-how is available to you throughout, from initial concept, to 3D design and right through to installation.
The technical advisers for workstation systems at the Hoffmann Group will be glad to advise you on the products on offer from all manufacturers, and will work with you to develop the ideal solution for your needs. In this way, you can make your working practices more efficient and increase your employee productivity.
Our experts are on hand at all times, either in person, via telephone or via e-mail.