The construction industry is consistently rated as one of the most hazardous industries in the world. It alone accounts for 19% of accidents across all industries in the U.S. [1,2]. Danger lurks around every corner on a construction site. By its very nature, construction sites are a high occupation health risk environment. To construct a new building or infrastructure requires the use of large, medium, and small scale material processing tools that can pose a threat to life and limb – everything from high-speed cutting blades, to high-temperature flames, to heavy equipment for moving heavy objects, etc.
Heavy equipment, armies of unskilled laborers, tall unclad buildings exposed to the weather, high voltage circuits, explosive materials, cranes moving heavy loads in the air, loose building materials, and rubble everywhere are typical of many construction sites. Coupled with tight deadlines, poor management practices, poor safety education, and unsafe work behavior make the likelihood of accidents high. Construction site workers have to contend with a plethora of hazards including trip hazards, electrocution hazards, impact from moving objects, machine tool accidents, explosion hazards, fall hazards, vehicle crushing hazards, and many more.
Studies have shown that most accidents can be analyzed as a combination of Unsafe Actions (UA) and Unsafe Conditions (UC) . Good lighting can play its part in mitigating the UC component that contributes to accidents.
A construction worksite is in constant metamorphosis from beginning to end of the project. Each phase has its own unique characteristics and lighting challenges to ensure optimum performance and safety. Employers and managers, therefore, have to consider lighting a dynamic worksite with ever-changing conditions. Construction lighting must often be relocated to different locations on a construction site at different phases of the project. Luminaires must meet temporary lighting requirements – ease of assembly and disassembly, flexible mounting options, rugged enough to withstand a variety of environmental conditions, and flexible lighting patterns. Both insufficient and excessive lighting can lead to degraded performance and accidents on a construction worksite. Insufficient lighting can lead to trip hazards and fall hazards.
Excessive lighting can cause glare and temporary blindness, which can lead to trip, fall and other accidents. Glare can lead to headaches, fatigued eyes, and aches and pains associated with a poor body posture that workers take to avoid glare. Prolonged exposure to poor lighting conditions can cause eyestrain, leading to headaches, itchy eyes, blurred vision, burning eyes, and tensed muscles. On the other hand, insufficient lighting can lead the body to release melatonin, a sleep hormone that causes drowsiness, which in turn reduces alertness and increases the likelihood of accidents.
A construction site often has warning signs and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers painted in specific warning colors. The color rendering of construction site luminaires must not change the color of such signs and equipment. Temporary lighting should be equipped with heavy-duty electric cords with connectors and insulation meeting standard safety codes. Temporary luminaires may not be suspended by their electric cords unless cords and luminaires are both designed and certified for this type of suspension. Splices have to also meet local safety code standards. Increasingly, construction sites must also control light pollution to the neighboring environment and meet Dark Sky compliance.
Some construction zones require special attention. In explosive areas, hazardous location-certified luminaires must be employed to meet appropriate hazardous conditions. Evacuation routes can contain piles of construction material, portable equipment, and many others construction artifacts that can constitute unsafe conditions if poorly lit. Loading areas should be well lit, as they often receive deliveries at dawn when there is little light. Particular attention should be paid to insufficient lighting effects on our ability to discriminate between colors. Large differences in light levels between adjacent work zones should be avoided as it increases the risks of accidents. Moving from an overly bright to a dark environment can result in temporary blindness lasting up to 30 minutes as the human visual system adapts. This can be especially dangerous when workers are working close to vehicle access routes in transitional environments. If the lighting difference cannot be avoided between zones, workers should wear high-visibility clothing to reduce the risk of vehicular accidents.
Nemalux Construction Lighting Solutions
Nemalux provides a number of construction lighting solutions to mitigate a variety of unsafe construction lighting conditions. Luminaires are all low-power LEDs for energy savings with a lifetime ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Most luminaires are available with a variety of certifications from Dark Sky to hazardous locations. All are designed with a minimum of IP66 ingress protection, durable polycarbonate lens, wide operating temperature range, and triple layer coating for corrosion resistance.
Low bay lighting
The MR and XR are well suited for temporary low bay lighting systems that require approximately 10K lumens. Equipped with secondary optics that can be configured for a wide range of optical profiles, a variety of mounting brackets, and additional pole mounting styles, they can be easily set up for almost any temporary lighting scenario. They are ideal for lighting walkways, staircases, platforms, and catwalks on a construction site. With a complimentary lighting layout from Nemalux, the selection of the proper optical profile can minimize fixture count, illuminating a walkway with up to 30% fewer luminaires than competitors.
High bay lighting
The AR confers the same benefits as the MR and XR but is a high bay model outputting up to 50K lumens so can be used alone or ganged together using a pole mount brackets to flood a wide area of the construction site for good nighttime visibility.
The Nemalux LS series Light Stringer is a modular, portable lighting system that allows construction site workers to easily connect a string of luminaires together using approved electric cords to light a long section on a worksite. Spaced 8 feet apart, they meet OSHA lighting requirements. Cords can be replaced onsite, extending the lifetime of the product when the cable is worn. IP66 and IP67 rated, it is also available in hazardous location model. It is ideal for rapidly setting up temporary lighting for a work scenario on a construction site. With up to 1550 lumens/module and up to 30 modules on a stringer and CRI of 80+, it is a very versatile temporary construction lighting system.
- Suraji, A.; Duff, A.R.; Peckitt, S.J. Development of a causal model of construction accident caution. J. Constr. Eng. Manag. 2001, 127, 337–344.
- Newaz, M.T.; Davis, P.; Jefferies, M.; Pillay, M. The psychological contract: A missing link between safety climate and safe behavior on construction sites. Saf. Sci. 2019, 112, 9–17.
- Park, I.; Kim, J.; Han, S.; & Hyun, C. Analysis of Fatal Accidents and Their Causes in the Korean Construction Industry. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3120; doi:10.3390/su12083120.
Nemalux Lighting Solutions for Power Plants and Substations
Table 1: Power Plant & Substation Lighting
|Area||Recommended Light Level (Lux.)||Description|
|Outdoor substation||22||National Electrical Safety Code|
|Maintenance area||100 to 200||For performing maintenance tasks|
|Entrances, gates and perimeters||30 to 50||Minimum threshold for CCTV camera imaging is 20 to 30 lux. It is safer to add a buffer for adequate image quality.|
Nemalux offers a number of LED luminaire products that can be employed across electric power plants and substations. Nemalux industrially-hardened LED luminaires can be used in different parts of electrical generation and distribution systems, from the transmission to distribution tower, substation yard, parking lot, maintenance areas, perimeter fencing, etc.
Power substations are a national security asset and yard, parking & perimeter lighting are crucial for security and daily maintenance. Good illumination along perimeters helps security to identify potential trespassers, while good substation yard floodlighting helps electricians with maintenance tasks such as the inspection of power lines, electricity towers transformers, and other substation assets at night. The table below gives some recommended illumination levels for adequate lighting.
The Nemalux MR, XR, and AR series are excellent for outdoor power plant and substation applications. All are rated a minimum of IP66 ingress protection, with triple coating anti-corrosion protection. All of these also meet the Dark Sky (IDA) light pollution environmental standard. Digital inputs allow operators to configure to switch on from a motion sensor output to save intrusion detection whilst conserving power. The MR and XR are good choices for low bay outdoor applications such as perimeter and walkway lighting. They come in a broad range of factory configured illumination levels (MR from 3K to 6K lumens, XR from 8K to 20K lumens), color temperatures, and optical profiles. For long stretches of perimeter lighting, proper lighting layout design along with the choice of the optimal optical profile can save up to 30% on fixture count. For area floodlighting, the AR can output up to 48K lumens in general locations and up to 33K in hazardous locations. Choosing the right beam pattern from the many optical profiles along with anti-glare optics can achieve very uniform area lighting. All these models come with versatile mounting brackets to optimize the lighting distribution. A number of pole mounting options are available for all luminaires including articulating, swivel, and straight, fixed pipe. Fixed pipes range from 8 feet straight, to 40 feet single or double davit, and all the way up to 100 feet for hi-mast floodlighting. Nemalux also offers complete turnkey lighting packages that include luminaire, pole, brackets, and junction box for quick installation. For plants considering upgrading legacy systems or plant expansions, LED luminaires can save up to 90% more energy than the traditional HID lighting solution and can outlast HID products by a factor of four. All of this greatly reduce maintenance and operating cost. The MR is a direct replacement for 75-150 W HID fixtures.
Fluorescent lights have been used in many indoor industrial applications but when they degrade, are plagued by flicker, which causes eye strain. For indoor or outdoor plant lighting, the BL is a flicker-free, direct LED replacement for vapor-tight fluorescent lights. The NL is a flicker-free replacement for regular linear fluorescent fixtures. The BL is available in 20W and 40W outputs and can be surface-mounted, suspended, or mounted with an optional angle adjustable mount. With a projected lifespan of 60,000 hours and up to 4,400-lumen output, the BL is IP66 rated for indoor and outdoor applications. Marine (UL1598A) and optional CID2 Hazardous Location rating enable use in harsh environments. With its thru-wiring capability, the BL can also be daisy-chained for lighting long runs such as perimeters or long tunnels.
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Products of Interest for Lighting Upgrade Solutions
Nemalux Calgary Office Headquarters
1018 72nd Avenue NE, Calgary AB, Canada
+1 (877) 636-2589
Outcome of the Solution
- Improved Site Safety
- Better Visibility in all weather conditions
- Reduced Maintenance with Superior Product Reliability
- Dark Sky Compliance and reduced light trespass
- Lower Cost; Faster Delivery; Greater Support