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Poor Office Lighting Poses Sight Risk


Office workers are at risk of developing eye problems due to poor lighting in workplaces, according to the Illuminating Engineering Association of Thailand (TIEA). The Energy Ministry's latest survey found that the average level of illumination in the state agency's office was about 200-400 lux, which is below the international lighting standard for a workplace of 500 lux, said Kitti Sukutamatunti, a lighting expert from the TIEA.

The lux meter is a measure of illumination. A lux is equal to the total intensity of light that falls on a one square metre surface that is 30cm away from the source of the light.

Many state agencies surveyed were found to have dim light conditions in their offices as the agencies are trying to meet the energy saving target set by the previous government, Mr Kitti told a seminar on illumination in workplaces.

''It can be said that state offices are dangerous places for staff because the executives are negligent of the officials' health safety,'' he said.

''They always cite budget constraints and energy saving campaign as reasons to switch off the light in office buildings.'' The Labor Ministry has been trying to tackle the problem by issuing a new regulation on lighting standards in workplaces, but unfortunately the regulation was not in line with the international standard, according to the association.

Under the regulation, the lighting level in an office room with computers should not be less than 600 lux, which is above the international standard of 500 lux.

The association called on the ministry to revise the regulation to prevent office workers from exposure to too much brightness.