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Lighting In The Workplace

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Lighting in the workplace
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Winter lighting can bring with it some risks to the workplace or even enhance other workplace risks due to poor visibility.

Natural lighting is often dull and during winter, sunstrike at sunrise and sunset is more likely. If your company relies on natural lighting you may need to consider additional temporary lighting or other controls to improve conditions.

Benefits of Adequate Lighting

Having adequate lighting in a workplace can make a big difference.

It can help:

• Reduce Fatigue

• Reduce Eye Strain

• Reduce headaches

• Improve time it takes to focus on an object and identify the size of the

object (especially fast moving objects or small objects)

• Enhance the mood of workers

• Increase comfort

Improving Lighting

You can improve lighting by replacing bulbs to a higher wattage, or introduce additional

or temporary lighting to any areas that require it.

For example: if you are able to move the bench or the area that you are working around

to make the most of natural lighting it would be ideal, alternatively add temporary localized

(task) lighting.

If you do use temporary lighting ensure it is practical and is being used wisely and away from water or damp spots. Ensure no one will trip, spill liquids or cut any electrical cords from any

temporary lighting.

Outdoor Lighting

During Winter months sunstrike at sunrise and sunset can be a risk, especially when driving or working outdoors. Take some extra safety steps by:


• Vehicle windscreens are clean and have a pair of sunglasses available to wear if necessary.

• If you need to, pull over and wait for your eyes to adjust to the light.

• Drive with your lights on, so you are more visible to motorists and pedestrians.

• Take extra precautions while driving. Do not presume others have seen you.

Types of Artificial Lighting

There are 3 basic types of artificial lighting

General - Provides fairly uniformed lighting. example would be ceiling fixtures that

light up large areas.(eg. Warehouse, Office).

Localised / General Lighting -Uses overhead fixtures in addition to ceiling fixtures

to increase lighting levels for particular tasks. (eg. workshop, painting/ plastering).

Local (or task) lighting increases light levels over the work and immediate

surroundings. Local lighting often allows the user to adjust and control lighting

and provides flexibility for each user.


  • Ensure you are wearing hi-viz when working around moving vehicles.

  • Ensure the driver can see you.

  • Work with your back to the sun.

  • If unable to do this wear sunglasses if necessary

  • If you can move work to an area with better lighting, do so.

  • Set up temporary lighting if needed.

Lighting is a Hazard

Remember to add lighting hazards to your risk assessments and apply controls when required.

If you identify a potential hazard or have a near miss incident report it and take action!

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