I am working with an employer involved with small part manufacturing in a clean room setting. Use of microscopes and video monitors is common. They have concerns with a ageing workforce and increases in Macular Degeneration. Is there a method to determine what the visual requirements are for a job? Thanks.
I have worked with a population of visually impaired workers, either low vision or blind, and we devised our own testing to determine what the visual demands for a specific job and the work environment.
I have it adapted somewhere in back up files if you would like to look at what we came up with, but it is not a standardized test.
There are no studies that link microscope/computer use and macular degeneration. What specifically are you looking for? There are several issues to consider for these jobs and aging but there are no medical conditions that link them to this type of work. However, nutrition and common sense (which isn’t common and often doesn’t make sense!!) can make a difference. Not sure if this fits into an ergonomics program or general health.
The company is trying to identify what level of vision is needed to perform the task so when someones vision can not be corrected further they can be matched with the best postion. They are not looking at linking the task to the disorder in cause/effect. I am therefore looking for a way to determine the visual requirements for a task/job.
By "level of vision", most companies think of visual acuity, which also often determines "low vision" (ie, not correctable to 20/20). I would think that they’d need an eyecare professional to do the examination and determine that level. The company would need to find out that information then determine what the person can best view. While there may be some guidelines out there, I would guess that it’s a "trial and error" method to see how comfortable and functional the employee is with the task. There are many accommodation options for low vision. And there are many "levels" of low vision as well- just as there are for "blindness"; it’s not an all-or-none phenomenon.
Jeff Dr. Jeffrey Anshel
Corporate Vision Consulting
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