Step 8: Lighting

mployees must be able to see. Ergonomic design of a workstation also includes its lighting, which should provide a safe, comfortable and satisfying environment for working. Proper lighting prevents visual fatigue. Bad lighting, on the other hand, may produce glare or shadow zones which demand increased viewing effort and may lead to posture problems. It is important to assess the lighting environment and whenever possible, take the necessary measures to ensure its compliance with the ergonomic principles listed below.

  • Adjust the room lighting and the position of the screen to minimize screen glare and reflections.
  • Do not work in an under or over illuminated room. An average illumination of 50 foot candles is often sufficient. Below this level it is often necessary to provide task lighting.
  • Window light is undoubtedly good for morale. Ensure windows are equipped with vertical or horizontal blinds, which can be opened or closed as required.
  • Workstations should be well situated in relation to window position. The natural light should strike the workstation from the sides so that the employees’ line of vision is parallel to the windows.
  • Artificial lighting should also be parallel to the employees’ line of vision. Different types of fluorescent tubes are available; the light emanating from them will have a blue or pink tinge, or will resemble natural light.
  • Ensure that each ceiling light fixture contains an even number of fluorescent tubes and are covered with a plastic sheet called a light diffuser.
  • Task lights are best with an articulated arm permitting control of the source of light. Lamps with fluorescent tubes also give off less heat and are more comfortable.

Reduce the glare from your VDT by adjusting screen angle, reduce the intensity of surrounding lights and install a glare-reflecting screen over your PC monitor if necessary. However, a large amount of glare may be reduced by using the monitor in a reverse polarity mode (dark characters on light background).