Stop right there!

Did you know that soon the very chair you're sitting on could be illegal? From next year the government says that all wheeled furniture will have to be road legal. That means that any chairs, trolleys and equipment stands that have casters will need to pass a rigorous safety and compliance test, even if they are not being used on a public highway.

What could this mean for you?

Well, you could avoid the problem by taking the wheels off your chair but if this doesn't appeal then you're looking at an extensive series of modifications. And that could be expensive if you don't have the skills to do it yourself. To help you decide whether it will be worth the cost, we've prepared this brief guide.



Very few office chairs currently come with all-weather pneumatic tyres, but this will become necessary once the new regulations are in force. They will need to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimetres and you will also be required to carry a spare.


Standard front and rear lights will need to be installed. Initially it was thought that your chair would also need indicators, but recent advice has confirmed that hand signals will be sufficient.

Seat Belts

Surprisingly, as things currently stand there is only a requirement for seat belts on reclining models, but this is under review and may change before the new rules come in.


The maximum number of passengers will be limited to three. This stipulation is obviously aimed primarily at sofas. Models designed to seat more than four will be reclassified as minibuses.


Not required, although many new models are aleady being sold with parachutes.

Cup Holder

Each chair must be fitted with at least one medium sized cup holder. The inability to meet this requirement will constitute an instant failure.



Defending what many people say are draconian and unnecessary measures, a spokesperson has pointed out the numerous office accidents that were reported last year, from coffee spillages and paper cuts, to stubbed toes and even, in one case, a near-fatal paper cut.

The new measures are designed to make the workplace a safer environment, the spokesperson claimed. She went on to remind us that the regulations are actually quite liberal as it's still possible for most people to use an office chair without taking a test - although she did admit that it may soon be necessary to have a licence before you can drive a photocopier.


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