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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Task lighting for healthy eyes for your workers

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest post - Jennifer Long Visual Ergonomics

It is easier to perform detailed and visually demanding tasks with good illumination. However, providing high illumination levels can be expensive, hot and a potential glare source.

A task lamp is an energy efficient solution for providing adequate illumination without over-lighting a work space. Adjustable task lighting is also a good option when there is more than one person working in an area as individuals can select the amount of illumination they prefer or require.  This is particularly important with an ageing working population as workers may have a variety of ocular health conditions and subsequently have different lighting needs. For example,

  • there is evidence that some people with macular degeneration prefer significantly higher illumination levels for reading than people with healthy eyes.
  • some forms of cataract cause increased light sensitivity, so an individual may prefer less illumination. Other forms of cataract result in poor vision, so individuals may prefer higher illumination.

Care must be taken when using task lighting that it doesn’t introduce other problems such as glare. Here are some top tips for selecting and using task lighting so that it is visually comfortable:

  1. Locate lamps so that they do not directly shine into your eye, e.g. place the task lamp behind you so that light shines over your shoulder onto your work.
  2. Use a task lamp which adequately shields the light source from direct view.
  3. Consider using a task lamp with an adjustable arm as this will allow more versatility in how you illuminate your work without the light shining in your eye or reflecting off shiny surfaces.
  4. Switch on the room lights when using a task lamp. It is more tiring if your eyes need to re-adapt between a highly lit task and a darkened room.
  5. Use matt surfaces at your workstation to reduce reflections from the desktop and computer keyboards.

Contact us for more information on your work health and safety issues.

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