Workers on a construction site need to be able to see exactly what they’re doing. If lighting conditions are poor, then the chance of a workplace accident, or poor workmanship, increases considerably. This is even more important during winter-time, when nights can set in earlier.
It’s for this reason that artificial site lighting is so crucial. In fact, it’s a legal requirement: under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, lighting should be such that workers can fulfil their roles safely, but not so bright that eyesight is endangered.
With this in mind, what kind of light is best for a construction site? Let’s take a look at a few of the variables.
Where to position?
Work lights should be fixed wherever work should be done. It can be attached to scaffolds and cranes, and it should be scattered in such a way that workers are able to safely move around the site. This means that walkways will need to be effectively covered.
Emergency routes should also be given special attention. In the event of an emergency, workers should not have to leave the site in the dark.
Construction site lights come in several forms. The most important of these is the tower light, which spreads large amounts of light over a wide area. You might think of these lights as equivalent to a powerful, wide-angle street lamp. You can get them from any good industrial equipment supplier.
For more close-up work, headlamps and torches can also play a role. They allow workers to focus light on areas that might not be illuminated. After all, it’s impossible to cover every shadow with tower lights. The cone of light projected by these devices is necessarily narrow, however, so you’ll find that it’s easy to miss hazards that don’t fall directly into your field of vision.
Ideally, your lights should emulate natural light. This way, there will be no loss in quality when the sun goes down. This is generally only achievable through LED lights. As well as being powerful, these tend to be exceptionally efficient – and they don’t generate heat in the same way as some older lighting technologies, which makes them a safer option, too.
Construction sites are potentially extremely harsh environments, with dust and rain getting everywhere. Your lights should be rated to cope with these conditions; all lights marketed as construction lights by reputable manufacturers should be able to do so.
The best lighting for construction sites is mobile and battery-powered. After all, there is rarely a power source available, and trailing cables provide an additional, unnecessary trip hazard. Moreover, workers need a light which can be positioned easily – and a mobile light usually allows for this.