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This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  [private user] 13 years, 7 months ago.

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    I hope there are some good ideas out there or some past experiences with this issue. We have been replacing chairs at a site and went to great lengths to get the correct chair for the job (comfort, functionability, adjustability, correct casters). Not a week into the roll out of some of the new chairs (office type) for some seated inspecting we have had 2 people fall out of them. Some of this was because they were reaching for items and I will be address this but some of it is just careless use of a chair. Trying to sit down and it rolls out. Let me repeat this part- we did get casters that were made for the floor type and there needs to be some rollability so we didn’t want to go completely without casters. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know this may sound funny also but does someone have a presentation, handouts or something similar that addresses proper use of a chair? How about suggestions for going without a caster but still having some minor maneuverability. Any feedback you can provide would be helpful. Thanks. Eric



    I almost fell out of my own chair laughing at the idea of people falling out of chairs and needing an inservice to show them how to stay seated. But seriously… have you investigated the incidents to see if there is a common thread contributing to the problem? One possibility is that the desk may be too high so the employee raises the height of the chair to work at the desk, but then doesn’t lower the chair when they get out of the chair causing them to slip, trip or fall. Another one is… are they accidently pulling the forward seat tilt, that doesn’t have the ‘stop’ engaged, instead of the ht adjustment, causing them to be catapulted from the chair? jam


    [private user]


    It sounds like you should be ordering casters which lock when they bear weight and roll in the unlocked position when the person unweights the chair, exactly for the purpose you have described. If a person overextends a bit to reach for something at the workstation, the chair will be weight-bearing enough that the chair should no scoot out from them. My favorite vendor calls the casters “reverse braking” casters. Also, if the employees are rolling on linoleum tile floors then you should be ordering “soft casters” and for concrete “concrete casters”.

    I’d like to be more helpful but you are on the east coast and I’m on the west coast.

    Carolyn Lundberg

    ACE Ergonomics

    Newport Beach, CA.



    This brings back a bad memory. I too have fallen off of a chair like that and it was quite embarassing and hurt too! In my situation it was one of leaning back to talk to someone on the other side of the partition – slick linoleum floor with the hard casters (not a good combination), but he biggest part was it was a four point caster system instead of a five point – we got rid of both of the two chairs we had like that after my incident.



    [private user]

    Carolyn and Eric:

    It seems that what is required is the exact opposite of what you described, Carolyn. Eric explained that the chairs moved when someone was trying to sit down (and they then fell), rather than when they were already seated.

    What are required (IMHO) are casters that are locked when there is no weight in the chair, and are free to caster about when the chair is occupied.

    I investigated an incident some time ago, where a surgical nurse was using a stool with casters in an operating room; she needed it so that she could “scoot” around the operating table during the operation. As she attempted to sit on the stool, her gown brushed the stool away from her, and she fell to the floor. Tragically, she instinctively grabbed out and pulled the sedated patient off of the table as well.

    I then researched the caster industry, and found that there were no casters available as I described above. I designed one, but have never tried to manufacture it.

    There are casters of the type you describe, they are usually used on large ladders and mobile platforms in warehouses.




    Through the years, I have seen all of these types of casters advertised:

    – non-locking (pivoting and fixed);

    – manual locking with foot levers (pivot and/or roll functions);

    – manual locking with hand/cable operated controls;

    – self locking when weight is applied (like library stools);

    – self locking when weight is released (may be appropriate for this situation).

    I do not have current vendor contacts for each, but they should be available with some hard research. I seem to recall that the last option was promoted as meeting some type of European requirement, so vendors in that market might be a good option if you have exhausted local resources.

    Good luck.



    [private user]

    There are several products on the market. You can check the Keysan website for casters that lock when unweighted to retro fit present chairs.

    There is a chair model Jess, you can find on the http://www.MCergo.com site, that is marketed with unoccupied braking casters standard.

    I’m sure there’s more but I hope this gets you started.

    Good luck

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