A hazardous area can exist in any workplace, once a risk assessment has been carried out it may be recommended that lighting needs to be changed to minimise risk, or good safety conscious lighting could be planned when facilities are being built or refurbished. Lighting plays an important role in the safe, efficient, and productiveness of any business.
Dark, enclosed, or around-the-clock businesses exclusively rely on artificial lighting and those that operate in the daylight may still need additional lighting in certain areas. This post examines some common hazards and how light can be used to minimise risk.
What is a Hazardous Area?
The types of hazard present in a workplace determine the lighting requirements. The incorrect type of lighting can affect the health of your employees, is linked to sick building syndrome and in the very worst cases, could cause death. Here are some examples of hazards and why lighting must be considered.
General Hazards and Risk
Hazards exist everywhere in the workplace. Even the most innocent looking objects can cause harm and injury. As an employer, it is your job to asses risks and put necessary procedures and deterrents in place – this can include looking at the way your lighting is deigned.
Take a stairway for example; reasonably safe (provided there are no trip hazards!), but poor lighting on a stairwell could increase the risk of somebody losing their footing and falling. Assess every area of your workplace for hazardous dark areas.
Some work areas can present a direct health hazard where lighting can help. For instance, in the automotive industry, spray booths can be a particular risk. As discussed in this previous post, good lighting in spray booths enables technicians to see spray and therefore avoid it.
Flammable hazardous areas are places where there may be a high risk of fire or explosion, due to flammable gases, vapours, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibres present in the air. Any electrical equipment used within these areas, must be specially designed and tested to ensure it does not ignite an explosion.
The tiniest of sparks could trigger an explosion so lighting in these type of environments but be very carefully considered.
Hazardous Area Lighting
For some areas, such as flammable hazardous locations, ‘explosion proof’ LED lighting is a must. Lighting these type of businesses is a tough challenge but can be achieved by installing ATEX certified, hazardous area lighting products.
Explosion proof LED lighting is also utilised in spray and paint booths. When working in a confined space, an exploding light could be a significant problem and presents numerous risks to technicians.
There are other ways LED’s can improve workplace safety too:
- by reducing trips and falls. LED lighting will brighten dark stairways and reduce dark shadows
- by illuminating workplace hazards, such as heavy or dangerous equipment
- by protecting employees against crime. It’s unlikely that any potential criminals would target areas outside your business that are well lit
- improving emotional well being of employees and reducing the risk of poor lighting associated eye strain and headaches
- by lowering fire risk. LED lights operate at a lower temperature than conventional lighting and are less prone to failure
Get in Touch
IDES specialise in LED lighting for a whole range of workplaces, including offices, and industrial and commercial – including hazardous sites. We have the ability to source any LED product available and specialise in the fitting spray booth LED’s. For advice on hazardous area lighting, please email email@example.com or call 08432 894645.