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Minimum Office light Levels

Discussion in 'Legal' started by pvcprinting, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. pvcprinting

    pvcprinting UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,031 Likes: 251
    Hi all,

    Not been here for a while but an incident that I witnessed today has kicked my arse to be a more frequant visitor to these pages

    Anyway, I went to pick up a friend from work this evening as her car was in for a service. I went to her usual spot in the office but was informed she had been moved?

    When I eventually found her, her office had been moved into a 3m x 3m patch with a 3m ceiling....the only light she had in there apart from her pc monitor was 2 single flourescent strip lights mounted high up on the ceiling!

    She complained on the way home of feeling unwell which has prompted me to post this thread

    Does anybody have any idea of any minimum standards that must be met for a place to be used as an office?

    Does it require any natural light
    What is the minimum lux levels that must be met
    what, if any are the restrictions on the use of IT within the area


    Posted: Mar 29, 2007 By: pvcprinting Member since: Jun 28, 2006
  2. bwglaw

    bwglaw UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,681 Likes: 235
    Your best bet would be to explore the Health and Safety Executive website at http://www.hse.gov.uk which will no doubt have information on the other issues you mention.

    Posted: Mar 30, 2007 By: bwglaw Member since: Apr 8, 2005
  3. An Oasis

    An Oasis UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 9,901 Likes: 1,683
    Yah happens all the time fluorescent lights oscillate at ?hz per min and computer screens @ whatever the refresh rate, the outcome is PITA.

    Get rid of the fluorescent will solve the problem.
    Posted: Mar 30, 2007 By: An Oasis Member since: Oct 3, 2006
  4. Gavin Harris

    Gavin Harris UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 886 Likes: 65
    I've worked for two companies now where there has been no natural light, so it would appear that is not a requirement.

    I will now go out of my way to avoid having to work in a building with no natural light. It's horrible - you have no sense of what it's like outside: summer is exactly the same as winter, and night is exactly the same as day.
    Posted: Mar 30, 2007 By: Gavin Harris Member since: Dec 13, 2006
  5. AndyBrazier

    AndyBrazier UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 28 Likes: 0
    The issues mentioned are all covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. I'm not going to quote the regulations because they are not intended to provide specific standards. However, the general principle is that employers must provide safe and healthy working conditions.

    To comply with regulations, lighting must be sufficient to work and move around safely. If someone is feeling unwell because of the lighting, which is quite common for people working in the conditions you describe, I would say this is a sign that the regulations are not being complied with. Clearly better lighting may be beneficial. Where there is no natural light, it is now possible to buy 'daylight simulation' bulbs and tubes, which people find an improvement on standard lights. In this case it may be possible to buy a desk lamp with one of these bulbs to supplement the ceiling mounted tubes.

    Of course windows are also a good source of ventilation. Again the regulations require the workplace to be provided with fresh air, and to be comfortable in terms of temperature and humidity.
    Posted: Mar 30, 2007 By: AndyBrazier Member since: Nov 12, 2005
  6. KM-Tiger

    KM-Tiger UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 9,001 Likes: 2,428
    Posted: Mar 30, 2007 By: KM-Tiger Member since: Aug 10, 2003
  7. Guest

    Posts: 0 Likes: 0
    For the non safety people, ever since HASWA 74 the law stopped being prescriptive - relying instead on employers to take case by case assessments - so you wont find a light level specified.

    ALl the regs call for is "suitable and sufficient" lighting, and there is no obligation to provide natural lighting.

    The one HOWEVER is that "suitable and sufficient" as used generally throughout the regs must be decided certainly with reference to the task and also to an extent the person: so what is suitable for someone just needing to work on IT, is not necessarily suitable for threading needles, or fixing watch mechanisms.

    Clearly also, people need to move about safely.

    And also what is adequate for one person is not necessarily adequate for another: - there is also an obligation on the employer to maintain, so that a flickering fluorescent is clearly a problem.

    All of that said: the person in question will struggle to prove it is the lighting making them ill. - however a right thinking employer would generally take any easy steps that make there employers lot a happier one!
    Posted: Mar 31, 2007 By: Member since: Jan 1, 1970
  8. jakandra

    jakandra UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    In relation the HSE regulations, the welfare regs state that it is "preferred" that as much natural light as possible be used. It then recommends lighting levels such as is laid out by organisations like CIBSE (The Building/Surveyors organisation). These state a level of 500lux for general office work, raising up levels dependant upon what kind of work is being done. Generally you should have between 500 and 1,000 is there is more detailed work (drawign offices etc.) We do this testing for people quite a lot under auspices of sick building syndrome, as wella s co2 levels, humiidity, temperature, airflow etc., or just as tests on their own as there is a specific way to test these to read the levels. Any advice needed, let me know !:)
    Posted: Nov 20, 2010 By: jakandra Member since: Nov 20, 2010
  9. KC12

    KC12 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 52 Likes: 3
    I have an awesome lumie dawn simulator (for my s.a.d) The company(is the first result on google for lumie) also sells daylight simulators and the brightspark is probably worth looking at if anyone wants to improve light in their office.
    Posted: Nov 21, 2010 By: KC12 Member since: Nov 15, 2010
  10. coxadmin

    coxadmin UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,117 Likes: 84
    Guys, have you looked at the date of the original post or even post no 7?!!!!
    Posted: Nov 21, 2010 By: coxadmin Member since: Nov 5, 2004
  11. KC12

    KC12 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 52 Likes: 3
    Oops, I never saw that date function till now.
    Posted: Nov 21, 2010 By: KC12 Member since: Nov 15, 2010
  12. Marine Recruiter

    Marine Recruiter UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    Lighting at workstation was okay before office was redecorated. Picture spotlights above my desk with defused light into the wall were taken down as did not match new decor. These were replaced with a household ceiling 5 spotllight fitment. Because they are household ceiling lighting and not piture lighting they cannot be angled into the wall. With each spotlight containing a 7 watt bulb in each this has resulted in a bright white light shinning into my eyes between my vison of the wall and my PC. When bringing this to my Supervisors attention was told she would replace the bulbs in each of the 5 spotlights with a 3 watt bulb instead. I still think that I will still be facing excessive white light each day causing exteme headaches. What is my standing in this? NB there are 2 of these 5 spotlight units positioned between 4 workstations so experience high glare from each.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
    Posted: Mar 22, 2011 By: Marine Recruiter Member since: Mar 22, 2011