Health and Safety: Choosing the Right Chairs for Your Small Business Office

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Small business owners face a challenge in finding the right chairs to make office employee workstations safer and healthier. Inappropriate office seating can cause employees to develop or aggravate back problems – sitting in such a chair for a great deal of time can add stress to the structures in the spine. Consider these tips on how to select the appropriate chairs for your office.

Importance of Selecting the Right Chairs

Providing the right chairs for your employees is important. Workplace injuries from remaining seated for prolonged periods are a serious occupational health and safety problem. Physical complaints from employees who remain seated for long periods include back pain, muscle aches, varicose veins, stiff necks, and numbness in the legs.

This is an occupational health and safety problem can create legal concerns for you as an employer, in addition to your concerns about the health of your staff. The legal obligations of most small businesses for occupational health and safety are subject to the regulations enforced by agencies for the provincial and territorial jurisdictions.Inquire with your local agency or with a lawyer to ascertain the legal duties of your business with respect to workplace ergonomics. Regardless of your legal obligations, a healthy workplace can enhance workers’ productivity and it may reduce your workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Characteristics of Good Workstation Chairs

Although there are many office chairs available labeled as ergonomic, there is no one-size-fits-all chair – and there is no reason to assume that a particular chair may be appropriate for a particular individual. A chair becomes ergonomic only when it suits the user’s body dimensions, workstation layout, and tasks performed.

Chairs with adjustable arm rests should be available for employees who work with computers. Many of the adjustments needed for workstation chairs are often standard features for office chairs marketed as ergonomic. More detailed criteria for chair selection include dynamic lumbar support, which automatically adjusts to the unique needs of each individual’s body. Some chairs offer dynamic position-sensitive headrests that move into place when the user is reclining and then move out of the way when the user is upright. Some of the best ergonomic office chairs are available in multiple sizes.

Save Those Receipts for Tax Time

Because ergonomics is not a product but a process, your business is likely to incur additional expenses beyond chairs, including matching furniture (including workstations, equipment, and business environment) to maintain office aesthetics while reducing the hazards for injury and discomfort without undermining productivity. To take advantage of the Canada Revenue Agency’s capital cost allowance for those expenses, save your receipts to a cloud-based accounting platform. Using QuickBooks Online Accounting Software allows you to sync to the Receipt Bank app, which extracts data from invoices and receipts. You can then send that information directly to your QuickBooks accounting platform.

References & Resources

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