The Law and Relevant Guidance
Health and Safety At Work Act 1974
Section 2 – General duties of employers to their employees:
- Assessing the risks in the workplace, tell employees of these risks and how they will be protected.
- Ensure the safety of employees in connection with the use, storage, and transport of articles
- Ensure safe maintenance of the place of work
- Consult employees on H&S issues
Section 3 – General duties of employers and self-employed to persons other than their employees
- The employer must ensure that others not in their employment who may be affected by their activities (visitors, contractors, etc) are not exposed to risks whilst at the employer’s site. (i.e., by ensuring adequate lighting levels are in place to prevent accidents and incidents)
Section 7 – General duties of employees at work:
- Employees must take reasonable care of the health and safety of themselves and others and must cooperate with any requirement imposed by the employer so the employer can comply with any required duty. (i.e., reporting of defects for example defective lights to ensure lighting levels remain effective)
The Regulatory (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Part 2, Article 9 – Risk Assessment:
- The ‘Responsible Person’ (RP) must ensure a suitable and sufficient assessment of fire risks has been reviewed if it is suspected that it is no longer valid or there has been a significant change. The risk assessment must include emergency lighting provisions to ensure persons can safely evacuate.
- These assessments must be recorded when an employer employs five or more employees
Part 2, Article 14 – Emergency routes and exits:
- The RP must ensure emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Regulation 3 – Risk assessment
- “3.—(1) Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—
(a )the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking,”
The risk assessment must include assessing whether lighting levels are adequate for the work environment/tasks and activities being undertaken.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Regulation 8 – Lighting:
‘(1) Every workplace shall have suitable and sufficient lighting.
(2) The lighting mentioned in paragraph (1) shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be by natural light.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), suitable and sufficient emergency lighting shall be provided in any room in circumstances in which persons at work are especially exposed to danger in the event of failure of artificial lighting.’
The Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 (as amended in 2002)
Regulation 3 (Schedule) – Requirements for workstations:
Requires in the Schedule for there to be adequate lighting and adequate contrast (i.e. no glare or distracting reflections). In particular the Schedule states:
- ‘Any room lighting or task lighting provided shall ensure satisfactory lighting conditions and an appropriate contrast between the screen and the background environment, taking into account the type of work and the vision requirements of the operator or user.
- Possible disturbing glare and reflections on the screen or other equipment shall be prevented by co-ordinating workplace and workstation layout with the positioning and technical characteristics of the artificial light sources.’
- Additional information can be found on lighting in BS EN ISO 9241 Part 6.
Lighting at Work Guidance (HSG38)
This guidance from the HSE explains how lighting contributes to the health and safety of people at work. It deals with assessing and managing the health and safety risks attributable to lighting in the workplace, good practice and the minimum recommended illumination levels that meet health and safety requirements.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
Para 82 CDM ACOP states, “Designs prepared for places of work also need to comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (the Workplace Regulations) taking account of factors such as lighting and the layout of traffic routes”. This requirement is to ensure that lighting post construction phase is adequate for the building.
Regulation 31(4) states, “An emergency route or exit and any traffic route giving access to it must be kept clear and free from obstruction and, where necessary, provided with emergency lighting so that it may be used at any time”.
Regulation 35 headed ‘Lighting’ states:
“(1) Each construction site and approach and traffic route to that site must be provided with suitable and sufficient lighting, which must be, so far as is reasonably practicable, by natural light.
(2) The colour of any artificial lighting provided must not adversely affect or change the perception of any sign or signal provided for the purposes of health or safety.
(3) Suitable and sufficient secondary lighting must be provided in any place where there would be a risk to the health or safety of a person in the event of the failure of primary artificial lighting”.