Safety: Is poor lighting putting your staff at risk?

31 May, 2019
This article explores the 8 most common causes of workplace accidents and provides some practical tips for overcoming safety risks associated with poor lighting. Earthtrack are exhibiting at the Mine Electrical Safety Conference, Brisbane June 3-5.

8 most common causes of accidents in the workplace

  • Lifting
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Poor lighting
  • Hazardous materials
  • Acts of Violence
  • Trips and Falls
  • Stress


Although poor lighting is recognised as one of the leading factors behind workplace accidents, it may also contribute to accident causes such as fatigue, mishandling of hazardous materials, trips and falls and even stress.

Inadequate illumination

This is the obvious factor behind poor lighting where there is simply not enough illumination or there may be dull or dark areas due to lack of uniformity across a work area.  Insufficient light can make it difficult to read directions or paperwork, to see and avoid slip or trip hazards, or to keep workers alert during nightshift.

For both day and night shift, the right illumination will ensure maximum productivity while delivering energy efficiency, long life and consistency that only LED technology can deliver.

Excessive Illumination

On the flipside, over illumination of areas, resulting in excessive glare or reflection can be equally hazardous to health and safety.  

An example illustrating this point was with a local business that installed 150 watt highbays in a workshop, but had workers complaining that they couldn’t work due to excessive glare off the shiny stainless steel work benches, causing headaches and discomfort.  On switching to lower powered 100 watt highbays, the problem was solved, without compromising on light quality.

Mobile machinery and vehicle risk

On the flipside, over illumination of areas, resulting in excessive glare or reflection can be equally hazardous to health and safety.  

An example illustrating this point was with a local business that installed 150 watt highbays in a workshop, but had workers complaining that they couldn’t work due to excessive glare off the shiny stainless steel work benches, causing headaches and discomfort.  On switching to lower powered 100 watt highbays, the problem was solved, without compromising on light quality.

In the case of an Emergency

Finding out your emergency exit and safety signs are not operating in the case of an emergency is not only unsafe, it is illegal.  All commercial and industrial building signage must be tested according to Australian Standards.  Batteries must operate at a prescribed illumination for a timed period, as well as other tests that should be conducted by a licensed professional to ensure they are in working order.

Remote site lighting

Safety through reliable lighting in remote areas, on temporary sites or heavy vehicle interchanges can be difficult to achieve.

Solar-powered lighting is a great solution to achieve optimum illumination, even for remote or temporary sites where mains electricity is not available.  Earthtrack specialises in robust solutions to handle even Category D rated areas, for Australia’s largest mining and resource companies.

These solar towers are portable, so can be moved to where they are most needed, via forklift and a light commercial vehicle.    They can also power equipment other than lighting such as cameras, WIFI receivers, beacons, sensors and alarms.

Talk to Earthtrack about our design service to identify the best, most cost-effective and reliable options for your site today. 

The Earthtrack team will be attending the Mining Electrical Safety Conference in Brisbane June 3-5, 2019 –  stand # 64.  

References 

*https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/collection/australian-workers-compensation-statistics

**https://www.reliableplant.com/Read/30411/workplace-accidents-causes

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