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Illumination levels and safety.
The occupational safety and health effects associated with reduced levels of illumination, proceedings of a symposium, July 11-12, 1974, Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 75-142, 1975 Mar; :73-86
The possible effects of reduced levels of illumination on the safety and health of workers were examined with emphasis on the illumination levels specified by the American National Standard Practice for Industrial Lighting (ANSI) A11.1-1973, which requires one half to one footcandle for areas of slight hazard and 2 to 5 footcandles for high hazard areas. According to the standard, any factor that aids vision helps the workers detect the potential cause of an accident and correct it. However, the many other variables that affect visual effectiveness, in addition to the level of illumination, such as glare, shadows and visual fatigue delay the adaptation of the eye and result in occupational injuries. Low lighting levels may be a cause of injury after prolonged work. Improvements in the rate of injury have been recorded when the level of illumination in industrial settings for some tasks was raised from a minimum of 5 footcandles to 20 footcandles. According to the estimates compiled by the National Safety Council insufficient lighting was the cause of 5 percent of all industrial accidents in the United States; furthermore, poor lighting and eye fatigue were involved to some degree in 20 percent of the accidents. Instances where the rates of injury were reduced by improving illumination and color were reported. Significant correlations were established between task performance and the levels of illumination. The authors conclude that while illumination affects the health and safety of workers, safe illumination levels appear to be within the visual acuity requirements for task performance.
Lighting-systems; Health-hazards; Accident-prevention; Occupational-health; Safety-programs; Age-factors; Visual-perception; Eyesight
The occupational safety and health effects associated with reduced levels of illumination, proceedings of a symposium, July 11-12, 1974, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division