Have you ever tried to walk around your house in the dark? Even though it’s your home, and you know where everything is, it’s not always easy to do.
There’s usually a stray Lego, a chair that didn’t get pushed in, or that wall that jumped out from nowhere and got in your way.
Now imagine walking through a shipyard at night without lights. It’s the perfect recipe for a disaster waiting to happen. Because of the potential dangers involved, OSHA stepped in years ago.
The government department created a set of safe lighting practices for the shipyard industry.
As someone involved in maritime frequently, you should be aware of these requirements.
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If you’re ever injured because any of these features weren’t met, you’ll be able to find intelligent maritime accident attorneys to help you get compensation.
Safe Lighting Requirements
The expectations that OSHA set forth are at a minimum level of what you should see in a shipyard.
Use these characteristics as a guideline to ensure the area you’re in is safely lit as per regulations:
Permanent lighting at a level of 3 or 5 lumens is expected in every work area, general area, landslide area, and first-aid station.
If a permanent lighting source isn’t available, temporary lighting can replace it instead, or alongside, as necessary.
However, these light sources have to meet the minimum required lighting levels and be guarded so no one comes into contact with the bulb.
Temporary light sources also have to connect to cords that are able to safely carry the current to avoid electrical shock or fire. The cord connections and insulation can’t be broken or otherwise damaged and must be grounded correctly.
Lights can’t be suspended by their cords unless it’s part of the original design of the source. And circuits need to have over-current protection to prevent electrical or fire hazards.
Occasionally, emergency or portable lighting sources have their place in a shipyard. These aren’t the same as “temporary” light sources.
As an example, a temporary light would suffice for a short period of time while a permanent source is being designed and constructed.
An emergency lighting source would be brought out during a hurricane when all other lights are unusable.
Emergency and portable lights don’t have to meet the minimum requirements, but they also can’t serve as the sole light provided for work tasks.
You may need a headlamp, flashlight, or glow stick to evacuate an area, but these are not allowed for regular activities.
This type of lighting is required anywhere there is no permanent or temporary light fixture. If lights aren’t working for any reason or aren’t readily accessible, a portable light must be on hand.
On the vessel itself, if there isn’t a source of sufficient natural or permanent lighting, portable light is necessary.
These lighting sources should not be matches or open-flame devices if the area has flammable vapors nearby.
Lighting is essential to prevent injuries or damage to property. In a shipyard where flammable vapors and dangerous equipment are regularly seen, maintenance that follows OSHA’s safe lighting practices is crucial.
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