Workplace lighting and illumination
Good illumination is important to maximize production and maintain quality control. Poor lighting on the job site will lead to personal injury accidents.
OSHA requires that all construction areas, including stairs, ramps, corridors, storage areas, shops, offices, etc. be lighted by natural or artificial illumination. Table D-3 in OSHA standard 1926.56 indicates the intensities required for specific areas. OSHA uses a foot candle measurement for determining the intensity of illumination. For general construction areas illumination must be equal to 5-foot candles.
Generally speaking, if you are able to read drawings and follow layout marks without difficulty and use cutting tools effectively and with ease, there is sufficient lighting on the site. Plant and shop areas, first aid stations and offices require higher intensities of illumination.
Temporary lighting should follow these guidelines:
- All temporary wiring and lighting on the site must comply with the same codes as permanent wiring.
- Undersized wiring or overloaded circuits lead to work stoppages, electrical shocks and even fires.
- Be sure wiring is protected from damage in high traffic areas.
- Flexible cords used for temporary or portable lights must be designed for hard or extra-hard usage.
- All lamps for general illumination must be protected from accidental contact or breakage.
- Metal case sockets must be grounded.
- Temporary lights must not be suspended by their cords unless specifically designed for this means of suspension.
- 120-volt, portable lighting may be used in wet or other conductive locations such as vessels, drums and tanks but only if protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter, otherwise the maximum permitted is 12 volts or less.
- Temporary wiring must be removed immediately upon completion of construction.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WIRING AND ILLUMINATION SEE OSHA STANDARD 1926.405
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