CalOSHA to Consider Nighttime Lighting Standard

After several years of debate, the CalOSHA Standards Board will consider lighting requirements for agricultural operations at night.  The proposed new standard entitled “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness”, will require specific lighting levels for certain agricultural operations at night.  It will also mandate employees wear Class 2 high visibility garments while working at night, as well as the need to conduct a safety meeting prior to every night shift to remind workers where the restrooms are, where the break areas is, and the location of water bodies and high traffic areas.  The new lighting requirements are as follows:

Required Illumination Levels
foot-candles Lux Areas or Tasks
3 32.29 Meeting area and meal/rest area.
5 53.82 General safety during outdoor agricultural operations.

Pathways leading to and around restrooms and drinking water.

Inside restroom facilities.

Storage areas accessed by employees.

Areas within 25 feet of agricultural equipment where workers are present.

10 107.64 Intermittently exposed or exposed point of operation equipment, covered under Group 8. Points of Operation and Other Hazardous Parts of Machinery.

Operationally visible moving parts of machinery covered under Group 6. Power Transmission, Prime Movers, and Machine Parts of the General Industry Safety Orders.

Active agricultural operations i.e., harvesting and irrigation work.

20 215.30 Maintenance work on equipment.

These requirements are modified from their original proposal which specifically mandated a lighting level of 10 foot-candles within a 25 foot radius of all agricultural equipment operating at night.  This would have been impossible and the Association opposed such a requirement at every Advisory Committee meeting.  The Association is currently reviewing this new proposal which will considered by the CalOSHA Standards Board on April 18th in Sacramento.