OSHA Minimum Lighting Requirements


• Part Number: 1926
• Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
• Subpart: D
• Subpart Title: Occupational Health and Environmental Controls
• Standard Number: 1926.56
• Title: Illumination.


General. Construction areas, ramps, runways, corridors, offices, shops, and storage areas shall be lighted to not less than the minimum illumination intensities listed in Table D-3 while any work is in progress:


Foot-Candles |            Area of Operation
5............. | General construction area lighting.
3............. | General construction areas, concrete placement,
                |   excavation and waste areas, access ways, active
                |   storage areas, loading platforms, refueling, and
                |   field maintenance areas.
5............. | Indoors: warehouses, corridors, hallways, and
                |   exitways.
5............. | Tunnels, shafts, and general underground work areas:
                |   (Exception: minimum of 10 foot-candles is required
                |   at tunnel and shaft heading during drilling,
                |   mucking, and scaling. Bureau of Mines approved cap
                |   lights shall be acceptable for use in the tunnel
                |   heading)
10........... | General construction plant and shops (e.g., batch
                |   plants, screening plants, mechanical and
                |   electrical equipment rooms, carpenter shops,
                |   rigging lofts and active store rooms, mess halls,
                |   and indoor toilets and workrooms.)
30........... | First aid stations, infirmaries, and offices.


Other areas. For areas or operations not covered above, refer to the American National Standard A11.1-1965, R1970, Practice for Industrial Lighting, for recommended values of illumination.

NOTE:  OSHA is a minimum. Alternately, 30 to ~50 footcandle is a higher range, based on the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) recommendations for office areas and tasks.


Emergency Stair Ways and Egress Routes

1006.1 Illumination required. The means of egress, including the exit discharge, shall be illuminated at all times the building space served by the means of egress is occupied. 
1. Occupancies in Group U.2. Aisle accessways in Group A.3. Dwelling units and sleeping units in Groups R-1, R-2 and R-3.4. Sleeping units of Group I occupancies.
IBC section 1006.2 requires the illumination level to be not less than 1 foot-candle (11 LUX) at the walking surface level.
 1 foot candle/sq. ft. must be maintained in the stairway 24/7
The only option solution is to step the lights for two settings hi/dim or use dimmers.
One significant portion of the IBC that differs from the UBC and impacts the electrical system is section 1006, “Means of Egress Illumination”.
More specifically, 1006.3 Illumination emergencypower; “The power supply for means of egress illumination shall normally be provided by the premise’s electrical supply. In the event of power supply failure, an emergency electrical system shall automatically illuminate the following areas":
(1): Exit access corridors, passageways and aisles in rooms and spaces which require two or more means of egress.
(2): Exit access corridors and exit stairways located in buildings required to have two or more exits.
(3): Exterior egress components at other than the level of exit discharge until exit discharge is accomplished for buildings required to have two or more exists.
(4): Interior exit discharge elements, as permitted in Section 1023.1, in buildings required to have two or more exits.
(5): The portion of the exterior exit discharge immediately adjacent to the exit discharge doorway in buildings required to have two or more exists.
*Exit Discharge: The portion of the means of egress system between the termination of the exit and a public way.
Sections (3) & (5) as noted above have the most dramatic impact on the electrical distribution and lighting systems.
Section number (3) above will affect the egress lighting on the roof parking lot portion of a parking garage. With the implementation of the IBC 1006.3, emergency egress lighting per IBC 1006.4 and the NFPA 101 (National Fire protection Agency) will be required on the roof parking lot portion of a parking garage.
The IBC 1006.4 requires an average of 1 FC and a maximum to minimum ration of 40:1 or less. The typical parking lot does not require egress lighting to be fed from an emergency electrical system and does not require compliance with the IBC 1006.4.
If the parking lot is on top of a parking garage, and the AHJ follows the IBC, the emergency egress lighting is required.


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