H & S Guidance – LightingDownload Lighting PDF
Regulation 8 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires that every workplace has suitable and sufficient lighting. This should be by natural lighting, so far as is reasonably practicable. Good lighting, whether natural or artificial, has an important role to play in promoting health and safety at work. It helps us to see hazards and it can reduce the likelihood of visual fatigue and discomfort.
General guidance is available within the Approved Code of Practice on the Workplace Regulations, whilst more detailed considerations can be found in HS(G)38 Lighting at Work. Both have been used in the production of this element.
Lighting should be sufficient to allow people to work, use facilities and move from place to place safely and without experiencing eyestrain. Stairs should be well lit so that shadows are avoided. Where necessary, local lighting should be provided at individual workstations and at places of particular risk. Dazzling lights and annoying glare should be avoided. Lights should not be allowed to become obscured (e.g. by stacked goods)
Lighting should be subject to proper and efficient maintenance. Windows and skylights should where possible be cleaned regularly and allowed to admit maximum daylight whenever appropriate. Where workers are specially exposed to risk if normal lighting fails, emergency lighting must be provided.
The table overleaf gives average illuminances and minimum measured illuminances for different types of work.
|General Activity||Typical locations/types of work||Average illuminance lux (lx)||Minimum measured illuminance lux (lx)|
|Movement of people, machines and vehicles||Lorry parks, corridors, circulation routes||20||5|
|Movement of people, machines and vehicles in hazardous areas; rough work not requiring any perception of detail||Construction site clearance, excavation and soil work, docks, loading bays, bottling and canning plants||50||20|
|Work requiring limited perception of detail²||Kitchens, factories assembling components, potteries large||100||50|
|Work requiring perception of detail²||Offices, sheet metal work, bookbinding||200||100|
|Work requiring perception of fine detail²||Drawing factories assembling offices, electronic components, textile production||500||200|
- Only safety has been considered, because no perception of detail is needed and visual fatigue is unlikely. However, where it is necessary to see detail to recognise a hazard or where error in performing the task could put someone else at risk, for safety purposes as well as to avoid visual fatigue the figure should be increased to that for work requiring the perception of detail.
- The purpose is to avoid visual fatigue; the illuminances will be adequate for safety purposes.
Recommended lighting levels for a wide variety of situations are contained in the CIBSE Code for Interior Lighting 1994. (See Reference/Further Details)
MANAGING LIGHTING HAZARDS
There are many simple measures that can be taken to eliminate or reduce health and safety risks from lighting hazards. The following table provides some checks and solutions to typical lighting hazards in the work place.
|Insufficient light on the task|
|Luminaires too bright|
|Natural light seen through windows or roof lights too bright|
|Excessive range of brightness|
|Bright reflected images adjacent to the task|
|Reduced contrast of task because of veiling reflections|
|Strong shadows on the task|
|Tasks are difficult see|
HS(G)38 contains extensive and useful information on lighting recommendations, equipment, installation and emergency lighting.
CHECKLIST – LIGHTING
- Are all parts of your premises suitably and sufficiently lighted? YES/NO
- Have there been any complaints or concerns about a lighting situation in the workplace? YES/NO
- Do you maintain your lighting satisfactorily (including cleansing) and replace defective lighting units quickly? YES/NO
- Do you know where to look for specific adviceor guidance on lighting matters? YES/NO
CIBSE Code For Interior Lighting (CIBSE, Delta House, 222 Balham High Road, London SW12 9BS). Tel: 020 8675 5211.