The Issue of Lighting in Workplaces

Have you been experiencing random headaches at work? Do you often feel eye discomfort when staring at your computer screen?

If you answered yes, your workplace lighting may be the cause of these problems.

Studies have shown that eye-related symptoms are one of the most frequently occurring health issues amongst users of computers (more). Office work is already visually demanding and adding on unpleasant lighting levels can really strain your vision and thus, your ability to focus at work.

Poor lighting can also be very costly for businesses. Employees who are negatively impacted by the lighting in their workplace are more likely to take time off work due to injuries, resulting in high absenteeism and low productivity.

In a normal office environment, it is recommended by ACC that light levels be between 320 and 500 lux. However, higher levels of lighting (600 lux or more) may be required depending on the circumstances. For instance, when LCD screens are being used. Individual requirements should also be taken into consideration when installing lighting.

The arrangement of lighting in the workplace is another important factor to consider. Each workstation should be illuminated as uniformly as possible to prevent visual discomfort.

Moreover, natural lighting is another option that should be taken advantage of where possible. A combination of artificial light and natural light is preferable. However, the issue of glare and reflection must be prevented and minimised as much as possible. To address this issue, consider installing blinds to control excess light, or window coatings that reduce glare.

ACC Guidelines for using Computers provides further information and best practices on how workplaces can work together to achieve a healthy work environment with appropriate lighting.

If you believe your workplace lighting is causing your health problems, book in a workstation assessment now by calling us on 04 499 0710, or filling out our online booking form. Our assessors can assess your workstation and lighting levels and provide appropriate recommendations if needed.

 

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