If you are an industrial business owner who is looking to expand and build a new warehouse space, then you will need to think carefully about the way the warehouse will function. Working with a variety of building and installation experts can help you to determine exactly what you need. When working with an electrical construction professional, you will need to make some choices about lighting. If you have inadequate lighting within the warehouse, then you may be subject to an OSHA fine. To learn about some tips to make sure your warehouse provides adequate light, keep reading.
Pay Attention To Illumination Levels
You cannot simply place lights in your warehouse space and hope that the lighting is adequate. OSHA has some fairly specific guidelines when it comes to lighting, luminance levels, and the type of activities that take place under different levels of light. For example, warehouse spaces should provide at least 5 foot-candles or lumens per square foot of light to meet OSHA regulations.
While the illumination regulations may be clear, you may not necessarily understand what this means. Foot candles and lumens per square foot indicate how much light should be emitted in a small space. Basically, if an individual is working in your warehouse, they should always be surrounded by the same illumination of about five candles. This is a fairly small level of light, especially if you consider the fact that a six to nine watt LED can release about 450 lumens of light. However, the lumens or the intensity of the light will reduce the higher the lights sit across your ceiling. If your warehouse has 50 foot ceilings, then very little light intensity may reach the floor.
It is definitely wise to choose high intensity LED lights that produce up to 2,600 lumens, but you should also make sure your light fixtures are secured low enough that the light can cascade easily to the ground. Work with your electrical contractor to pick out drop lights that are positioned high enough to stay out of the way of forklifts and other machinery while also being low enough to light the entire space. Also, lights should be kept close enough to one another that shadows and dark spaces are minimized.
Invest In Emergency Lighting
Most warehouse spaces have very few, if any, windows to provide natural light in the area. This means that your basic lighting system is essential to keeping employees safe as they work in the warehouse. Unfortunately, emergencies do occur and can knock out the electricity for some time. This can make your warehouse a dangerous place to be in an emergency situation.
To help reduce dangers, OSHA requires businesses like warehouses to have emergency lighting systems. Emergency lights do not need to be as bright as normal lights, but they do need to be located closer to the floor. This is necessary in the event of a fire. The lights should illuminate clear paths to exits, and exit signs and emergency doors need to be lit as well.
Emergency lighting systems are connected to batteries to provide the lights with power. You can work with your electrical contractor to choose the right system for your warehouse. Some systems feature lights that are individually attached to batteries, while others are attached to a single large battery backup unit. The size of your warehouse as well as the needs of your business will dictate which type of system you should install.
Keep in mind that your emergency lights will need to turn on automatically when the electricity to the warehouse fails. A switch and detection system can be installed to assist with this sort of automation.
For more information and options, talk with a professional electrician, such as those at Albarell Electric Inc.