What Are OSHA Lighting Standards And Why Do They Matter?

Discover the importance of OSHA lighting standards for workplace safety. Ensure compliance and protect your employees with Vorlane's guidance.

Lighting in a workplace has a great influence on the functionality and safety of the space. Good lighting keeps your employees healthy and safe from unwanted accidents. Working places like construction sites and manufacturing facilities often have bad vision rates. 

The workers do not see things properly due to dust and particles in the area. This causes severe accidents. And you may end up dealing with hospital bills and lawsuits. In such situations, OSHA steps in. 

OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is an organization that ensures that your workplace is safe and has proper light sources. 

Here, Vorlane will guide you about the lighting standards of OSHA for industrial companies. 

What Is the Meaning of A Foot Candle?

The measuring unit or component of OSHA is known as the Foot Candle. If you want to know more about what exactly OSHA standards are, then you should learn about Foot candles. 

Levels of Lighting Recommended by OSHA for Offices

Light has a great influence on workers’ ability to see computer screens. A good amount of light helps workers to see computers easily. At the same time, inappropriate light causes eye strain in employees while working. The level of light you need in an office is a lot different from the light you need in another workplace. 

Below are the guidelines recommended by OSHA for office lighting

  1. Use a desk light and task lights on each working table.
  2. Apply blinds and curtains on windows. It protects your place from bright, shiny light.
  3. Place computers and screens on the opposite side of the window, where light does not fall on the screens.
  4. Apply matte finishes and light colors on the ceilings and walls to soften the light reflection and reduce the contrast.

Standards of Workplace Lighting: Minimum Limitation 

Construction areas need a brightness of 5 candles. Shops and plants need at least the brightness of 10-foot candles.

The minimum level of brightness standard varies in each workplace.

  1. Infirmaries and first-aid place: 30 ft-c
  2. Exits, walkways, and warehouses: 10 ft-c
  3. Tunnels and underground shafts: 5 ft-c
  4. Waste areas, storage areas, loading platforms, and refueling areas: 3 ft-c

In common commercial places, the minimal level of lux are as follows

  1. Showrooms, offices, and laboratories: 500 lux
  2. Workshops and factories: 750 lux
  3. Warehouses and loading bays: 300-400 lux
  4. Stairwells, corridors, and lobbies: 200 lux
  5. Warehouse aisles: 100-200 lux

OSHA Lighting Standards

The cover requirements of OSHA light indicate protective plates are necessary for all types of light fixtures

Moreover, the light fixtures must have a protective shield to guard them against unwanted events. 

Particularly, areas where light fixtures have a chance of getting damaged must contain protective shields. The same advice goes for pull boxes, fittings, and junction boxes.

Advantages Of Following OSHA Lighting Standards

OSHA workplace lighting standards basically present multiple benefits. It significantly enhances work productivity. 

Moreover, a comfortable and serene environment enhances the employee’s mood. Ultimately, it will increase work productivity and positive results. All of these factors combine together and bring productivity. 

OSHA standards ensure that your workplace adheres to all safety rules. Safety should be your priority in your workplace. Because it determines the reputation of your company as a brand and you as an employer.

Additionally, No one wants to collaborate with a firm that does not have any security. They always feel unsafe while working with you.

The Risks Of Not Complying with OSHA Lighting Standards

The OSHA inspectors fines the company if it does not follow the OSHA lighting rules.

The companies have to deal with the following penalty amounts in this case:

  1. $13,494 costs if you do a serious violation of the rules
  2. $134,494 costs if you fail to Abate previous violation
  3. $134,937 costs if you repeat the violation

Companies that do not comply with the OSHA lighting rules also have to face other risks of paying hefty money for

  1. Firstly, liability lawsuits are available for the personal injury or wrongful death of the worker or employee. Secondly, frequent inspections and citations are present in various areas.
  2. Thirdly, Boycotts from regular authorities like DOL or EPA
  3. The company has a bad reputation, which results in contract cancellation, project loss, and boycotts from further collaborations.

You have to remember that you and your contractors both follow the OSHA rules. Their negligence also results in your fall. 

Moreover, The process of managing contractors’ compliance takes time. But now we have contractor compliance software, which makes the process easy and efficient.

OSHA Lighting Installation Requirements 

The 1910.305 OSHA standard presents lighting installation requirements.

The rules and regulations for a permanent light fixture and temporary fixtures are the same. The ground conductors of light must safely be grounded. Do not use ducts that have flammable vapors or dust to install any kind of wirings. 

Moreover, The temporary lights under 600 volts must follow the safety rules more closely. They should only be utilized in repair, remodeling, or emergency work.

Task And Emergency Lighting

Task lights are specially designed to point the light at a specific area.

Additionally, Standard 1910 manages the emergency light use.

Most of the standard rules for general lights and emergency lights are the same. The only difference is that temporary installation of light above 600 volts is used in emergency works, tests, or temporary construction tasks.

OSHA Lighting Standards Protect Workers

The safety lighting standards of OSHA protect employees. It ensures that the workplace has enough light to prevent injuries and accidents. OSHA safety lighting standards protect the worker by the following:

Hazards Identification 

Proper lighting in a workplace ensures that the worker has visibility. It protects workers from getting injuries due to obstacles, equipment malfunctions, and spills. 

Moreover, Good lighting also allows workers to identify the emergency situation and respond to it quickly.

Prevent Injuries

If the workplace does not have proper lighting, it will increase the chances of injuries and accidents. Inadequate lighting makes it difficult for employees to see the areas clearly. 

Additionally, The OSHA lighting standards guarantee that there should be enough brightness in the workplace. So people can easily see and protect them from unwanted injuries and accidents.

Lighting the Way: A Manufacturing Facility’s Journey to Compliance

In the heart of industrial America, a mid-sized manufacturing facility faced a common challenge: outdated lighting that dimmed productivity and raised safety concerns. The journey to compliance with OSHA lighting standards wasn’t just about ticking boxes; it was about turning a dimly lit workspace into a beacon of efficiency and safety.

The Challenge

Workers strained to see in poorly lit areas, leading to errors and accidents. The existing fluorescent lighting was inefficient, casting uneven shadows and hiking up energy costs.

The Solution

The facility embarked on a comprehensive lighting overhaul. The key to the transformation was the switch to LED lighting, which was chosen for its energy efficiency and longevity. Task-specific lighting was installed at workstations, ensuring precise tasks could be performed safely and effectively. Overhead LEDs brightened common areas, while motion sensors and dimmable options added layers of efficiency and control.

The Outcome

The results were illuminating. Not only did the facility meet OSHA’s stringent lighting standards, but it also saw a significant drop in workplace accidents. Workers reported less eye strain and higher satisfaction with their improved environment. Energy costs plummeted thanks to the efficiency of LED technology.


The OSHA light standard ensures that your workplace has a functional and safe environment. It keeps the workers safe from any unwanted accidents. Moreover, It must be difficult to comply with all the rules and regulations in a workplace. 

However, it is essential for a safe working place. Therefore, make sure to get help from Vorlane to make your compliance management easier and faster. Contact us now!


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Steven Liang

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