Lighting on construction sites

Legal requirements

Electrical installations on construction and demolition sites must comply with:

  • AS/NZS 3000 Electrical Installations (known as the Wiring Rules)
  • AS/NZS 3012 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites.

The following information explains basic requirements for lighting on construction and demolition sites according to AS/NZS 3012.

Definitions

  • Luminaire: a complete light fitting with one or more light bulbs, the socket and wiring, and any other parts to hold it in place.
  • Lux: illumination of one lumen per square metre.
  • IP2X: restricted access to items 12mm or greater.

Installation

Luminaires shall be supplied from:

  • a final sub-circuit such as a lighting circuit, socket outlet or generator set (provided with circuit breaker and residual current device/RCD), or
  • permanent wiring (with additional protection), or
  • a standalone power source (with additional protection).

Luminaires should be installed to provide adequate light levels to ensure safe access throughout the worksite:

  • recommended minimum lighting levels for walkways is 40 lux
  • recommended minimum lighting level for general work areas is 160 lux
  • higher than 160 lux levels may be required in works areas where more detailed work is being done.

Protecting the luminaires

Lamps in luminaries must be protected against mechanical damage: for example, by using wire cages, safety grills, impact resistant covers.

Portable luminaries must have a minimum protection rating of IP2X and be fitted with a mechanical guard and have adequate stability.

Emergency lighting

Emergency evacuation lighting should be sufficient to allow people to safely leave the worksite.

Emergency lighting of at least 20 lux must be provided for at least one hour following any loss of normal lighting in areas where there is insufficient natural lighting. As a minimum, this should be installed in stairways, passageways, lift shafts and near switchboards.

Emergency exit routes should be clearly defined and illuminated.

Internally illuminated emergency evacuation signage must incorporate a battery backup.

Refer to AS/NZS 2293.1 Emergency lighting and exit signs for buildings – System design, installation and operation.

Resources

WorkSafe Tasmania resources

Managing electrical risks in the workplace code of practice

Other resources

SAI Global (external link) for the Australian Standards referred to here.

Updated: 29th January 2020