Safety Tips Office safety

Workplace vision problems

Photo: svetikd

Do you have difficulty reading documents at work? Do you strain your eyes and have blurred vision; headaches; or dry, burning eyes? If you experience these issues, your workplace may have poor lighting, states the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.


Computer monitors may be one cause of eye problems for workers. CCOHS notes that computer monitors that are fuzzy or otherwise hard to read can result in eyestrain. Additionally, looking between computers and paper documents can lead to eye problems, as printed documents require more illumination than looking at a monitor. CCOHS recommends putting a lamp on your desk to help you better see documents, while avoiding excessive light near the monitor (which can cause glare).

Other factors that contribute to eye discomfort include:

  • Staring at a close, fixed object for a long period of time
  • Glare from lighting fixtures that do not have shades
  • Working near lighting with unchangeable illumination
  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • Lack of color variety in a worker’s surroundings

Reducing eye discomfort

CCOHS recommends a variety of tips to help reduce workplace-related eye problems, including:

  • Place filters on overhead lighting to diffuse the light.
  • Dim overhead lighting if it is too bright.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of computer monitors to workers’ preferences.
  • Place computers parallel to – not directly under – overhead lights, and angle monitors away from lights and windows.
  • Look away from your computer monitor every few minutes. Focus on an object in the distance and blink several times.

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