Eye strain in 911 dispatch environments
TheMisison.com shares that "Americans report experiencing the following symptoms of digital eye strain:
- 32.6 percent report experiencing eye strain
- 22.7 percent report experiencing dry eyes
- 21.4 percent report experiencing headache
- 22 percent report experiencing blurred vision."
For dispatchers, the numbers can be even higher. The concern about eye strain among 911 dispatchers even made it into The Back School’s discussion forum:
Question: “In one of the sites I recently attended for a presentation on Ergonomics, they showed me the room for the 911 dispatcher calls. Their complaints are related to eye strain. They have fluorescent lighting with a very high ceiling in a large room. They have tried glare resistant monitor covers, wearing sunglasses, but still would like another option… Any suggestions?”
Response: “The first question is: Do they need to read hard copy information as well of read from a computer screen? If so, then you generally want to decrease overhead light and provide task lights over the documents. The easiest way would be just to remove some of the bulbs from the florescent fixtures…"
Notice that the ergonomics specialist specifically calls out task lighting as beneficial for desk-top work.
A critical solution for increasing 24/7 shift work comfort
Paired with ambient light, dispatch console lighting extends the user’s health benefit. Task lights soften contrast and increase focus for reading and note taking.
FLEXIBLE DISPATCH CONSOLE LIGHTING ADDS VALUE TO DAILY 911 DISPATCH WORKFLOW
According to the CCOHS, "a good visual environment will:
- have sufficient light, coming from the right direction and not cause obscuring shadows,
- provide good (but not excessive) contrast between the task and the background,
- limit glare and extreme contrasts, and provide the right type of light."
When thoughtfully positioned at the dispatcher's workstation, dispatch console lighting improve lighting in each of these ways and support the screen-to-desk-to-screen eye shifts that dispatchers make regularly. In addition to the regular tasks at hand, task lights are beneficial for side-by-side training in PSAPs and other monitoring environments.