What can I do as an employer?
The “Standard” 4000K lighting currently used in most industry segments is sufficient to suppress melatonin and promote alertness.
Employers of shift workers, however, need to consider lighting that generates both less alerting and alertness-enhancing effects for the different users of the facility. For example, in a hospital, light scheduling in the patient areas and bedrooms can imitate the natural day-night cycle. Providing high blue light in the morning and throughout the day and then reducing blue light to minimise effects on the circadian system in the hours before sleep, can help patients be more alert in the day and get better sleep at night. Elsewhere, areas such as nurses’ workstations can retain the day cycle with increased blue light to promote alertness.
Creating more alertness in a shift worker can help to reduce workplace accidents...
Increase the blue-content of workplace lighting
Increased blue light helps to promote alertness and focus. This is a vital consideration for shift workers whose circadian rhythms may be promoting sleep during their work schedule. Creating more alertness in the shift worker can help to reduce workplace accidents. Additionally, increasing the blue light in your workplace can lead to improved mood among your employees, as well as more optimal productivity.
Bring in the experts
Lighting professionals can help assess your workplace and provide advice and guidance on the best lighting to achieve your goals.
For example, through research led by the CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity, Versalux and Monash University established MelaGen™; a lighting system that can facilitate both sleep- and alertness-promoting responses to light through a single programmable LED system.
The Monash University scientists behind MelaGen™ modelled the impact of the amount of blue light in a light source on the response of our 24-hour clock to light to find the type of light we want at the right time. The LEDs were then developed accordingly, in line with these specific blue-enriched and blue-depleted wavelengths. More information can be found here.
Need some help?
As an employer, there are several elements to consider when managing lighting, such as shift working environments that demand both alertness-enhancing and sleep-promoting outputs, and finding out what the best light settings are to achieve your desired health, safety, productivity and wellbeing goals.
For large workforces or complex problems, professional assistance is recommended to ensure that your lighting is optimised for all of the relevant factors.
Through research led by the CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity with Monash University, Versalux has developed MelaGen™ lighting system based on the above principals, and considering the biological effects of lighting. More information can be found here.