Avoiding hazards on site is much easier when they can be seen which is why it is important that every construction site is well lit, either by natural lighting or artificial methods.

Internal lighting is required to allow general movement around site as well as to ensure work can be carried out safely.

External lighting allows for illumination of entrances and storage areas, in addition to adding a level to the security on site.

There are a wide range of lamps and lighting available which run from either mains electricity or generators.

It’s your responsibility

We are often asked who is responsible for the lighting on site. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, it is your legal responsibility as an employer to provide adequate lighting so that all work can be undertaken safely and effectively.

Regulation 35 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 also stipulates the requirement for lighting for carrying out work and for visibility of pedestrian and traffic routes.  It is the lighting of pedestrian and traffic routes that gets overlooked especially during winter when you can arrive and leave site in the dark.

Prepare a plan for lighting on construction sites

In order to draw up an adequate lighting plan, it is essential to know what activities are being carried out on site.  Once the activities have been established suitable lighting can be recommended and the illumination can be targeted accordingly.

It is important to make the distinction between being able to see around the site and being able to see to carry out the work as well as spotting any hazards.

How to arrange lighting on construction sites

Lighting on construction sites can be arranged in a variety of ways.

Using a static formation, such as poles, masts or scaffolding, is ideal for lighting entries and other areas that are unlikely to move during the construction phase.

For work areas, a mobile lighting system is preferred that can be arranged locally to the current work area and provide overhead lighting.

Consideration should also be given to the safety of pedestrians by providing adequate lighting along the site boundary if necessary.

It is also important to consider the environmental impact to ensure that any lighting on construction sites doesn’t cause a disturbance to local residents or wildlife. The lighting on a construction site is also likely to be run by generators which can give off harmful fumes from the burning fuel and can pollute and damage the local environment.

Further Reading

Society for Light and Lightings: Code of Lighting

Health and Safety Executive: Lighting at Work (HG 38)

 

Topaz Health and Safety can advise on all aspects of health and safety compliance for your construction site, including lighting. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.