Objective: Use appropriate lighting for the type of work, the workplace, and workers’ visual capabilities.
Good lighting makes work easier and safer. Poor lighting can make it difficult and dangerous. For this module:
General lighting provides light for an entire building or facility. Task lighting, on the other hand, is the lighting available at the work area where a task is performed. Proper task lighting makes work safer and easier. Workers receive about 85 percent of their information through their eyes. Appropriate lighting highlights moving machinery and other safety hazards. That helps prevent incidents from unseen hazards. Good lighting also reduces vision problems and injuries from momentary blindness.
Task Lighting Hazards
Inappropriate lighting, such as using only overhead lights, can create shadows. Shadows can make work difficult and dangerous, hiding sharp edges and other potential hazards. Poor lighting can cause:
- Injuries from unseen hazards
- Eye irritation
- Blurred vision
- Dry burning eyes
Task Lighting Safety Practices
- Provide lighting with adjustable intensity to meet the needs of workers with visual limitations.
- Use light colors on walls, ceilings, and floors to reflect light. Keep these surfaces clean.
- Keep workplaces well lighted.
- Replace and clean lights regularly.
- To prevent shadows, light the work area, ceilings, and walls independently.
- Use task lighting when general and local lighting are not sufficient.
- Allow workers enough time for their eyes to adapt from a well-lighted to a low-lighted area and vice versa.
- Use filters to diffuse overhead lighting.
- Diffuse overhead lights.
Review These Important Points
- Workers receive about 85 percent of their information through their eyes.
- Shadows can make work difficult and dangerous, hiding sharp edges and other potential hazards.
- Poor lighting can cause eyestrain, eye irritation, blurred vision, dry burning eyes, and headaches.
About These Modules
The author team for the training modules in the landscape and horticultural tailgate training series includes Dee Jepsen, Program Director, Agricultural Safety and Health, Ohio State University Extension; Michael Wonacott, Research Specialist, Vocational Education; Peter Ling, Greenhouse Specialist; and Thomas Bean, Agricultural Safety Specialist. Modules were developed with funding from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant Number 46E3-HT09.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Labor.
Quiz: Task Lighting
True or False?
1. Use light colors on walls, ceilings, and floors to reflect light. Keep these surfaces clean. T F
2. Keep workplaces well lighted and replace and clean lights irregularly. T F
3. To prevent shadows, light the task, ceilings, and walls dependently. T F
4. Use task lighting when general and local lighting are not sufficient. T F
5. Allow enough time for your eyes to adapt from a well-lighted to a low-lighted area and vice versa. T F