Lighting, temperature, working space, noise and vibration are all factors that can impact on a person’s performance.
Here we talk about different levels of lighting that are required for different types of work. However, when considering lighting, a number of different factors need to be considered such as colour, contrast, glare and so on.
Lighting an environment is often a complex task principally considered during the design stage of the building (by architects and interior designers). However, lighting should be designed for the tasks that individuals are carrying out within that environment.
Different activities require different levels of light. In general, the more detailed the task, the greater the light requirement. A process control room should be lit at an illuminance of 300 lux, a corridor or walkway may only require 50 lux, whilst studying an engineering drawing may require 750 lux (see HSG38 Lighting at Work).
Where individuals are carrying out different activities, they will need control over their local lighting e.g. a control and instrumentation engineer coming into a process control room lit at 300 lux may need a desk with a lamp to study a wiring diagram.
Studies have shown that giving workers in open plan offices local control of lighting can increase job satisfaction (and decrease the experience of stress).Directional sources of light can bounce off reflective surfaces such as display screens and cause glare. Using blinds, correcting the angle of the source of light and using glare filters can help control this, as can use of e.g. up-lighting.
All sources of light have a particular colour. Some of these, such as sodium, can make coloured text and diagrams difficult to read. Sudden contrasts in light levels e.g. coming out of a well-lit area into a dark area or vice versa can be a problem because it takes the eye several seconds to adapt to new lighting conditions. Changes in lighting levels should be made gradually where possible.
Generally lighting is designed when the workplace is empty and without consideration of the shadows cast by equipment e.g. lighting of yards where trailers and containers may be parked. Pedestrian walkways in these areas should have specific lighting.
For further information have a look on the Government’s website:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors/topics/lighting.htm and if you would like Lowe Electrical to contribute to your workplace lighting please get in touch. 0116 254 5423