Image of lit office building (Pixabay)

Ljuskultur 4: Focus on light in the work environment

In the the fourth of our regular columns in Ljuskultur we highlight the importance of well planned lighting in the workplace.

Our visual environment has an effect on our productivity and our health and it is important to get light in the work environment right. As an example, when we strain our eyes too much we also increase muscle activity in our neck and shoulders. We start to squint and find it harder to see what we are working on. This causes headaches and an increase in neck problems.

The Swedish authority for Work Environment Expertise, MYNAK, has recently released guidelines for sight ergonomics. These have been developed in collaboration with practitioners and researchers. Some of the different elements considered are:

  • Facts about lighting, sight ergonomics, local work and eye ageing
  • Planning of light and sight ergonomics
  • Sight ergonomicsin the systematic work environment work
  • Appendices with checklists for ordering and evaluation of lighting

Most relevant to us in the lighting industry is a section which is about planning light and ergonomics. This part can make it easier for us who work with planning and specify light and lighting. The guidelines facilitate customers to place better orders which in turn leads to a better working environment for all. Checklists at the end of the guidelines can help the discussion between the client, the project manager, the electrical consultant and the lighting designer about what is required for to enable a good lighting design.

The guidelines encourage cooperation across different professional boundaries, ie occupational health care, customers and lighting experts must be able to work closer to each other. Early collaboration between occupational health care and lighting experts can the help customer to produce a clearer specification for a good light solution.

The guidelines in the field of synergonomy are available on MYNAK’s website (in Swedish)

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Stuart Wales
Stuart Wales

Stuart works with arranging our events and communications. Originally from the UK, Stuart now lives in Umeå, Sweden, where he is experiencing first hand the effects of daylight seasonality.