LED Down the Safe Path: L.E.D. Lighting in the Workplace
The safety of an office or any industrial building is of paramount importance for many reasons: there is the concern of employee health, it is necessary to be in compliance with OSHA regulations and company standards, and last but certainly not least, accidents on the job can and do result in massive expenses for the company by way of unemployment, medical bills, insurance premiums, and potential lawsuits. Therefore, the smartest investment an employer can make is in creating the safest environment possible – and it begins with proper lighting.
Months ago in a previous article, we discussed LED lighting in the home, but some might not know the vital importance of proper lighting in the workplace and its direct impact on safety.
Types of Lighting to Consider
Different lighting systems have different uses – in a car, your headlights, flashlight, and emergency flashers all have very different purposes: “general” lighting, “task” lighting, and “emergency” lighting. The same is true of an industrial or office space.
General Lighting: fairly self-explanatory. This lighting is very important as it is the lighting employees use the vast majority of the time. These are overhead lights, hallway lights, bathrooms, parking lots, and etcetera.
Task Lighting: These are used for any project that may require very specific and usually brighter lighting, often directional, to complete a project, but it can also mean desk lamps or any kind of lighting needed above and beyond general lighting to perform work.
Emergency Lighting: Unfortunately, this is lighting that often goes under-tested because its lack of use. Finally testing how adequate emergency lighting is during an actual emergency is the last thing you want to do.
Problems that Result from Improper Lighting
OSHA states that improper lighting is one of the most overlooked problems with regard to industrial safety and that there are specific prescriptions (measured in candle power) that must be followed.
Improper lighting results in hundreds of injuries per year at the workplace, and most of them could have been avoided. Certainly, inadequate lighting can lead to injury in numerous ways, such as falling, tool and equipment injuries, running into objects, etc., but it goes beyond that: inadequate lighting can also cause eye-strain, fatigue, and something that is gaining quite a bit of notoriety, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is depression brought on by the lack of light (this is a common ailment in communities close to the North Pole where light is sometimes only available for a few hours a day).
Conversely, too much light can result in eye irritation, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Any lights that flicker can heighten the risk of these problems.
Cutting-Edge LED Lighting for the Workplace
LED lighting has made many strides in recent history, and now it is considered a premium product. LED lights can reduce energy consumption by as much as 85% and a longevity up to 20 years longer than traditional bulbs (source: Health and Safety Magazine International). Health and Safety Magazine states that LED retrofitting is one of the greatest returns on investment there is.
In addition, LED lighting is immediately active when switched on and nearly unaffected by temperatures, making them a great solution for emergency lighting. In general lighting, gone will be the flickering overhead lights and glare of inconsistent lighting. Due to the improved strength of LED lighting, many flashlights and other task lighting utilizes this technology; altogether, the switch to LED can improve employee efficiency, reduce injuries, and dramatically reduce energy consumption for your company
To fully realize the benefits of proper lighting, experts are needed: technicians who have a wealth of experience and the tools to do the job properly. The Entek corporation of the Portland/Vancouver area has been a highly-respected fixture (no pun intended) in the community for many decades and can help your company with its LED retrofitting needs.
Entek has trusted experts serving Southwest Washington and the Portland area.
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