This historical photograph was provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The image depicted a Bureau of Internal Revenue office space, later renamed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This scene was captured before overhead fluorescent lighting was installed, the effects of which could be appreciated in PHIL #9530, and made a tremendous improvement in workplace comfort. Visible on the desks were tabulating machines, and stacks of tax returns from which figures were entered into the machines.Office work is visually demanding, and has always required good lighting, which may be defined as that which provides enough illumination so that workers can see printed, handwritten, or displayed documents clearly, but are not 'blinded' by excessively high light levels. The most common complaints resulting from poor lighting are eyestrain, eye irritation due to dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
CDC/ Barbara Jenkins, NIOSH
December 3, 2012
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