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The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: Regulation 8 requires every workplace to have suitable and sufficient lighting. The lighting in the workplace, should as far as is possible, be natural. Regulation 8 also states that suitable and sufficient emergency lighting needs to be provided, where people are particularly exposed to danger in the event of failure of artificial lighting.

Inadequate or inappropriate lighting in a workplace is not directly associated with health effects, other than possibly eyestrain and headaches. In some instances poor lighting may be a contributory factor to 'office sickness' or 'sick building syndrome'

Problems associated with lighting are not always given a high priority. This may be due to a lack of understanding of the subject or a general lack of information. Inadequate lighting can result in accidents with far more serious consequences. Changing the layout of a factory or other workplace without altering the lighting may result in some areas of the facility having unacceptable shadow.

Lighting is not only about intensity, other related factors maybe be more significant in specific situations:

  • inadequate or inappropriate lighting
  • glare from reflective surfaces
  • type of lighting
  • location of lights with respect to the task undertaken
  • movement of personnel and other traffic

On occasions the nature of the lighting may also contribute to problems, e.g. flickering, stroboscopic effects and type of light sources.

How we can help

Huw Wilkins Associates Limited can measure luminance in any workplace, assess the effects of glare and reflection on the operatives in the light of HSE Guidance Note HSG38 Lighting at Work, and advise on improvements to the working environment.  

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