Cold storage facilities are mixed-use environments with office, warehouse and assembly functions. They require the pairing of climate control solutions with cold storage lighting to keep operations productive and workers safe. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not have standards for general warehouse lighting, it does state that overhead lighting should be “adequate for the task at hand” to promote proper ergonomics. To ensure the lighting in your facility supports productivity and safety, it is a good idea to consult with your state’s specific standards for illumination in workplaces.
Appropriate lighting is essential in warehouses because it helps preserve the quality of the items stored and helps workers do their jobs safely. Because the eyes process about 80 percent of information in an individual’s surroundings, lighting aids in efficient and accurate performance. Good lighting enhances the overall wellbeing that workers feel, particularly in those who do shift work. Appropriate lighting also helps minimize capital expenses and maintenance costs.
When cold storage lighting is poor, workers may experience eye fatigue and straining that could lead to headaches, visual problems, an increase in errors, and an increased probability of accidents. Lighting problems (e.g., flickering, glare, poorly distributed light, insufficient lighting and improper contrast) may also contribute to feelings of stress, psychological distress, low morale and disturbances to sleep-wake cycles.
Lighting solutions in cold storage facilities must be durable enough to withstand the environmental conditions they’re exposed to, such as cool or freezing temperatures, humidity and vibrations. At the same time, they must comply with federal and local safety, fire and materials codes.
The Illumination Engineering Society of North America recommends the following illumination levels for warehouse and industrial applications:
The IESNA advises that light levels might need to be adjusted based on the type of task performed, level of detail required, size of the objects handled, and the average age of the workers. It is a good idea to interview workers about lighting levels and their effectiveness in each area.
Lighting in cold storage environments accounts for one of the greatest operating costs in a warehouse. The best bulbs are energy efficient, offer adequate thermal performance, have low maintenance costs and illuminate the space in question well. Depending on the area, the bulb type might need to be rated for food production zones, wet zones or splash zones.
Because the heat that lamps, bodies and machinery radiate can affect the temperature in a cold storage area, a facility should invest in Polygon’s custom climate control solutions to preserve the quality of the items processed and stored. These solutions maintain constant temperatures, relative humidity levels and ventilation rates. They also include monitoring systems that immediately alert you to fluctuations in environmental conditions, allowing you to remedy problems before losses occur. Contact a climate control specialist at Polygon today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.
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