Should I adapt the lighting in my workplace for a partially sighted employee?

For all people the quality and quantity of lighting can have a significant impact on a working environment. Effective lighting can help to create a comfortable workplace, just as poor lighting can pose a barrier to effective working.

However, lighting can be a particularly important issue for blind and partially sighted people.

The amount of light, as well as the source of light can be an important factor. Many people find that natural light is best. This can mean making the best use of light from windows, rather than relying on electric lighting. Similarly, some people find that lamps emulating natural light (daylight bulbs) are very effective.

In general however, direct glare from windows, lamps, and overhead strip lighting should mostly be avoided. It is also important that fluorescent lamps are suitably shielded and worn lamps are promptly replaced, preferably before they begin to wear out and flicker.

Some people require task-lamps and a certain amount of ambient lighting in order to read or complete other work, the type of lamp and amount of lighting will vary from person to person.

Your colleague is often the best judge of what works well, and what kind of lighting is best. The key to resolving lighting issues is to talk to the person involved and call in specialists where necessary. Remember that sometimes the simplest change can make a huge difference to a working environment.

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