Home' HR Monthly : October 2016 Contents 5
With so much close computer work, eye-strain and eye health is
a growing concern for HR.
BY DEAN POWRIE, CEO AND DIRECTOR, PERSONALEYES
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Check position of computer monitors. Ensure employees have their
desks set up with the screen slightly below eye level, and between
50-100cm from the eyes. If employees are constantly referring
to documents on their desk and then going back to their screen,
consider a vertical document holder that can be attached to the
computer screen to ensure documents are at eye level.
Set default tex t size and monitor brightness levels. Talk to your
IT department about enlarging text size on your organisation’s
computers as standard; some employees may not know this can be
done, or know how to do it. The brightness and contrast levels on
computers should be adjusted according to office lighting levels of
300-500 lux (measu rement of light level intensity) and you should
assess workplace lighting to make sure employees aren’t affected by
glare, as this will contribute to eye strain.
Assess workspace lighting and have some anti-glare screen filters on
hand. Employers should be mindful of light sources to ensure the
amount of glare is minimal. Each individual workspace is different
and requires assessment. Employees must not have bright light in
their field of vision when working, and similarly, they must not
have bright light behind them that could ref lect on to the computer
monitor. If steps are taken to minimise glare and a problem still
persists, an anti-glare screen filter could resolve it. The best ones on
the market are made from optical glass that can reduce glare by more
than 99 per cent. You could also look for low-ref lective or matte
screens when purchasing new monitors.
Some businesses are heavily reliant on computer time, and you
should be encouraging them to look away from their screens for
two to three minutes every 30 minutes and taking a 10-15 minute
break every two to three hours. The 20-20-10 rule minimises vision
damage: give your eyes a break from the screen every 20 minutes for
at least 20 seconds by looking at something 10 metres away.
Post notices about eye strain and CVS in communal areas to ensure
you’re doing your due diligence in reminding employees about the
20-20-10 rule and taking eye breaks.
Anyone sitting behind a computer screen for more than three hours
should lubricate their eyes. When you’re looking at a screen, you
tend to blink far less frequently, which means your eyes are less
lubricated and could become irritated. Many people with watery
eyes actually have d ry eye syndrome and dismiss the use of eye drops
since they feel their eyes are lubricated. Don’t share eye drops to
avoid the spread of infection, and it’s preferable to opt for single-use,
preservative-free lubricating eye drops.
Watch the use of air conditioners and heaters, as they can dry out
the air. Dry eye sufferers could experience worsened symptoms as a
result. A humidifier with an HEPA filter could be a good investment,
since it hydrates the air and kills bacteria, improving the office
climate for employees.
MANY EMPLOYERS ARE TURNING A BLIND EYE TO EYES
in the workplace and Australia’s leading optometrists are warning
employers of decreased productivity, with employees suffering from
dry eyes, eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Staring at digital devices for ex tended periods is now one of
the most common causes of eye strain, and can cause difficulty in
focusing and blu rred or double vision.
Dean Powrie, CEO and Director of PersonalEYES says,
“Australians now spend more time connected to a screen than they
do sleeping, so it’s more important than ever to be mindful of screen
time and eye health. We estimate one in three employees could be
suffering from CVS, which can develop in those spending more than
three hours a day in front of screens.”
Blue light-emitting screens are most known to have detrimental
effects on sleep, but CVS is another major concern.
“Many hand-held devices now have adjustable settings to reduce
the amount emitted, but for those who don’t have that option, and sit
in front of a computer monitor daily, glasses with anti-reflective and
slightly tinted lenses are a great option and can be provided by most
optometrists,” says Powrie.
Seven tips for H R departments to ensure happy, healthy
employees, and reduce the amount of complaints about eye issues:
15/09/2016 1:28 pm
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