Cafeteria Tables with Safety in Mind

Cafeteria Tables are a must have for school lunchrooms and cafeterias. Worthington Direct offers a range of cafeteria tables from mobile folding bench and stool tables, to convertible bench tables.  Tables made by either Midwest Folding Products, Virco or AmTab offer safety features such as spring-assisted torsion bars that make folding quick and safe.  Older tables may not have these features and when reading the case study below, it is recommended that purchasing new cafeteria tables may the best way to keep your faculty safe from injury.

Round Cafeteria Table with Stools

Ergonomics Case Study Olympia School District Cafeteria Tables


Risk management from Educational School District 113 contacted the L&I Ergonomics Program for help at an Olympia elementary school. Custodians at the school were having difficulty folding the cafeteria tables to move them out of the way when cleaning floors. Several custodians had been injured while handling the tables in the recent past.


Issues Found


Custodians fold the 12 cafeteria tables at the school twice a day. In order to fold the tables, custodians had to bend over and lift at the center point of the table. They would then push the two halves of the table together until they locked in the upright position. Even the strongest custodian felt that the folding task was difficult to perform.

An L&I ergonomist helped measure the apparent weight of the tables during folding by having a custodian stand on an electronic scale while lifting. Custodians used more than 80 pounds of lifting force to fold the tables, which is well over recommended weight limits.




A number of solution options were proposed, and these included:

• Purchasing newer tables with standard folding mechanisms. Newer tables at another school could be folded up with 50 pounds for force. This would still be a bit of challenge for smaller custodians, or those with pre-existing injuries.

• Purchasing tables with a spring-assist device that would greatly reduce the folding effort.


• Purchasing smaller tables that convert to benches, which are easier to fold up and move out of the way. Since each table is half the size of a standard cafeteria table, this would result in handling twice as many tables.

Visit Worthington Direct online at for great deals on cafeteria tables for your school lunchroom.  Check out the Cafeteria Table Sales on Virco and AmTab lunch room tables.


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