How to take care of proper lighting of the workplace?

An important element of the workplace is lighting. It significantly affects the safe and effective performance of official duties, as well as gives comfort for visual work. The employer, in accordance with health and safety regulations, is obliged to provide lighting in accordance with Polish standards. Lighting is a physical factor in the working environment, occurring at every workplace and classified as a nuisance factor. This is due to the fact that improper lighting leads to excessive fatigue of the organ of vision, a decrease in work efficiency and can cause aggravation of vision defects.

Par. Article 26 of the Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 26 September 1997 on general occupational health and safety regulations (Journal of Laws of 2003nr 169, item 1650, as amended) provides that daylight at individual workplaces should be used to the type of work performed and the required accuracy and should meet the requirements set out in the Polish standard. In addition, regardless of daytime lighting in work rooms, electric lighting with parameters consistent with Polish standards should be provided.

According to the above guidelines, lighting installed in rooms should meet the requirements of the lighting standard PN-EN 12464-1:2012 – Polish version: Light and lighting. Workplace lighting. Part 1: Indoor workplaces.

Basic lighting parameters:

  • illuminance – the level needed to perform a specific visual work is selected depending on the degree of difficulty of visual work and the size of the detail of visual work;
  • uniformity of lighting – determined separately for the task field and for the immediate environment field;
  • luminance distribution – is determined by providing the luminance contrasts of the separated fields in the closer and distant surroundings of the user or by providing the value of reflectance coefficients characteristic for the interior;
  • reduction of glare – it is achieved through the appropriate selection of lighting fixtures, and this is determined by the optical elements of the solid, e.g. milk lampshade, reflector, raster (different shape and type of surface);
  • flickering and strobe effect – this is a dangerous phenomenon and can lead to various types of accidents. Lighting elements should be selected in such a way as to avoid this phenomenon.

Lighting, in addition to affecting the health of the employee, also affects his well-being. Eye pain, headache, employee dissatisfaction – they are often caused by improper positioning of workplaces in relation to lighting fixtures, lack of blinds, blinds in windows that prevent the occurrence of glare.

Workstations should not be illuminated by light directly focused towards the screen monitor, as this leads to glare. On the luminaires it is recommended to mount devices that ensure the reduction of glare, such as reflectors, rasters. The area behind the monitor should be illuminated to reduce the contrast between the work surface and the environment, which has an impact,, on eye strain and employee safety. The color of lighting should be similar to natural lighting, because white light quickly tires. Thanks to lighting systems, using occupancy and daylight sensors that regulate the amount of electric light – artificial, we can improve the well-being of the employee and protect the environment, saving energy.

A common problem is also the issue of measurements of illuminance, Polish regulations do not specify time periods, the obligation to repeat measurements of illuminance. Due to the decrease in the luminous efficiency of luminaires, as part of good practice, it is worth repeating measurements of illuminance once every 5 years together with measurements of the electrical installation.

Practical aspects of organizing lighting measurements with electric light before and during measurements:

  • Cleaning all lighting fixtures and bulbs for full illumination, dusty and greasy reflectors of ceiling lamps reduce the illuminance by approx. 20-30%.
  • Analyzing the types of workstations and determining the requirements of lighting parameters for specific workstations, for example – a milling machine station, where milling activities are performed with an accuracy of < 0.1 mm, requires an illuminance of 500 lx, but when routing materials for machining, the intensity increases to 750 lx.
  • Determination of measurement locations with measurement determination in the task field and the immediate environment field.
  • Carrying out measurements in conditions of full covering of windows or at night (we measure lighting parameters in the most unfavorable conditions, i.e. in the absence of „support” by natural light).
  • Preparation of a protocol of measurement results and a situational plan taking into account measurement sites and measuring points.

An important activity in the field of maintaining the appropriate parameters of electric lighting is the preparation and implementation of the „Plan for the maintenance and cleaning of light bulbs and luminaires” (the document is not required by law, but justified) and the appointment of persons who meet the requirements in the field of health and safety, i.e. having training to perform work at height and, in the case of dismantling lighting fixtures, a qualification certificate for the operation of electrical devices up to 1 kV.


Region Gdański NSZZ „Solidarność”

Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Norwegii poprzez Fundusze Norweskie 2014-2021, w ramach programu „Dialog społeczny – godna praca”.

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