Office Lighting

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about lighting:

I have requested that staff turn on the lights in the hallway when they arrive; one as a courtesy to fellow employees, and two as a safety issue. It seems like common sense to me, dark hallway equals potential for accident. Someone questioned the safety aspect. Is there any legality to it? I tried to search OSHA and have not found anything other than for construction sites.

Signed, In the Dark

DearĀ In the Dark:

There are no legal issues related to hallway lighting, especially not in the circumstances you mention. There could be a liability issue if someone tripped over a package, slipped on a wet floor or bumped against something and was hurt, because they could not see. It would have to be quite dark for that to happen and most interior hallways don’t have those situations. Based on your description, it sounds as though employees could enter work, go to their workplaces and not turn on the hallway lights until one of them needs to use the hallway, at which point that person would be the one to turn on the light. You have asked that first- arriving employees turn those lights on at the beginning of the work day so the hallways are already lighted when the first staff member needs to walk down the hallway.

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