- By law, every workplace must have suitable and sufficient lighting.
- All roads, manoeuvring areas, yards, pedestrian areas, and anywhere traffic movements take place, should have suitable and sufficient lighting for safety
- Lights should be kept in good working order, and the covers kept clean.
Questions to ask
Your risk assessment should include answers to these questions
- Which areas need to be lit?
- Where should we position lights?
- Are there local authority restrictions on lighting our workplace?
- Is there a risk that drivers could be dazzled or confused by lighting?
Areas near junctions, buildings, plant, pedestrian routes and areas, and places where vehicles or mobile plant regularly move, all need particular attention.
Where lights are placed can be very important. Tall vehicles can block light, even when it comes from windows or lamps that are high on posts, or on walls, ceilings, canopies and so on. Lights should be placed over the space between vehicle bays, rather than over the centre of the bay where a tall vehicle could block them
If drivers have to reverse towards strong lights, place and angle the lights so that they do not dazzle the driver either directly or in their mirrors.
Places where work is done around moving vehicles during the hours of darkness should be well lit (for example, with floodlights).
Lighting must not be a nuisance to the local environment, so this might influence where you put the lighting and how strong it is. Your local authority environmental health department can advise you on this.
Glare from the sun can sometimes be a problem for drivers, so you may need measures to avoid this (for example, sun visors).
Changes in lighting level
You may also need measures to avoid sudden changes in lighting levels – for example, when moving from a dark warehouse to a bright day, or from a dark night to a strongly lit building. Moving too quickly from bright to darker areas (and from dark to brighter areas) makes it hard to see, and can make closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems much less effective, as they can take time to adjust to different lighting levels.
Find out more about workplace lighting in:
- The Code for Lighting published by the Society of Light and Lighting and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.
- Lighting at work HSG38 (Second edition) HSE Books 1997 ISBN 0 7176 1232 5