Innovative Solutions

Sometimes the most obvious solutions do not work, requiring the ergonomist to use innovative solutions and to think ‘outside the box’.

This happened this past week when I went out on a site visit to meet with a receptionist who worked in an open space with a large skylight located overhead. She was reporting symptoms of severe eye strain; red, sore, and painful eyes with blurry vision. This was because from 10:15 to 12:15 large amounts of light entered through the skylight located above her workstation creating large amounts of indirect and direct glare.

My initial recommendation was to investigate the feasibility of tinting the skylight or using blinds over the skylight. That was found to be far too expensive especially in the current economic climate. My next recommendation was to then move the workstation so that it was not directly under the skylight. Due to the space and the function of the workstation (reception) this too was also found to not be feasible.

So, what’s an ergonomist to do? Get creative, which required drawing from life experiences. While walking my dog I saw the solution: a sun sail.

A sun sail is a shade solution made of proprietary canvas that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that can be put up over the workstation to ‘shade’ it from the skylight.

So, sometimes solutions come at the strangest times like when you are out walking the dog.

EWI Works, finding innovative solutions to support our clients.

Figure 1: California Sun Shade Sail