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Thursday
Apr272006

Office with a view required by law

Germany, and now the European Union, require daylight and a view in each workplace.  I had long known this to be true, but today was the day that I finally Googled it to get the facts....

The Workplace Ordinance (ca. 1975) requires "direct communication from each workplace with the outside world. The only exceptions from the rule are work areas where the nature of the work would contradict having daylight, certain workplaces in restaurants and bars and workspaces with an extension of more than 2000 square meters with skylights. . . . The German legislator [sic] does not require daylighting for all workplaces but visual contact to outside. Thus, skylights or windows over the line-of-sight are not considered sufficient. " (1)

European Union Directive EU-Directive Minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace 89/654/EEC has similar requirements: “8.1 Natural and artificial room lighting: Workplaces must as far as possible receive sufficient natural light and be equipped with artificial lighting adequate for the protection of workers´ safety and health” (1) 

It is noteworthy that most U.S. building codes require daylight OR artificial lighting.  What a difference a conjunction makes!

On a side note, Germans are also required to receive a minimum of 20 vacation days with pay each year. (2)

(1) http://www.healthylight.de/day.html

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