4.20.2 Lighting and emergency lighting Lighting

The lighting of laboratory workstations must be designed to ensure safe work and timely identification of hazards at all times. The minimum illumination level for laboratories is 300 lx and 500 lx at individual workstations. Uniform lighting without shadows must be ensured at all times. The lighting for on-screen work must comply with the requirements of the Bildschirmarbeitsverordnung, in particular with regard to anti-glare and anti-reflection properties.

The contents of the Bildschirmarbeitsverordnung have been integrated into the Arbeitsstättenverordnung.

Depending on the type of work, it is advisable to have an illumination level of more than 500 lx at desks.

In principle, laboratory workplaces must receive sufficient natural light and allow visual contact to the outside, as far as this can be made possible. In order to ensure that hazards are detected in time, the lighting must be appropriate to the visual demands of the task being performed and adapted to the eyesight of personnel.

The intensity of illumination must be increased if, for example, the visual function is critical to the workflow and accuracy or increased concentration are of importance. The same is true when the task involves details that are small or of low contrast. Special measures are also necessary to compensate for age-related or individual visual impairments.

Attention must be paid to uniformity of lighting. The illuminance at any position within the work area may not fall below 0.6 times the average illuminance. The lowest measured illuminance may not be found within the area of the main visual task.

Proper direction of light and shadiness make it easier to recognise the shape and surface structure of objects. Shadows that hide potential hazards may not increase the risk of an accident.

Work areas, workbenches and screens must be free of distracting reflection and glare.

See Arbeitsstättenverordnung, the Technische Regeln für Arbeitsstätten ASR A3.4 “Beleuchtung“, DGUV Information 213-210 "Natürliche und künstliche Beleuchtung von Arbeitsstätten" and DGUV Information 215-211 "Tageslicht am Arbeitsplatz – leistungsfördernd und gesund".

See also DIN EN 12464-1 “Licht und Beleuchtung – Beleuchtung von Arbeitsstätten: Arbeitsstätten in Innenräumen“. Emergency lighting for escape routes

Special measures are required to ensure safe evacuation from the workplace and to prevent accidents in the event of a malfunction of the general lighting system.

Escape routes must be equipped with emergency lighting in those areas where there would be insufficient natural light and safe evacuation from the workplace might not be possible in the event of a malfunction of the general lighting system. This must be assessed based on the respective use of each laboratory workplace. Decisive are workplace occupancy, the number of floors and how clearly the escape route is laid out, on the one hand, and areas of increased hazards, on the other hand. Practical training laboratories should be equipped with uninterrupted emergency lighting to a safe area.

To clearly designate an emergency route to a safe area, emergency signs, which must be installed at all emergency exits and exits along the emergency route, shall at the very least have high afterglow luminance and, should escape routes require emergency lighting, be lit or backlit. One or more lit or backlit emergency direction signs shall be installed if an emergency exit is not immediately visible.

See ASR A2.3 „Fluchtwege und Notausgänge, Flucht- und Rettungsplan“, ASR A3.4/3 „Sicherheitsbeleuchtung, optische Sicherheitsleitsysteme“. Emergency lighting for particularly hazardous work areas

Emergency lighting shall be installed at all workstations at which the safety and health of personnel would be at increased risk in the event of a malfunction of the general lighting system. Its purpose is to facilitate safe evacuation from the laboratory and ensures that in the event of a lighting malfunction, test apparatus can, for example, be returned to a safe mode.

In laboratories, for example, increased hazard is expected in controlled areas designated for work with radioactive substances, in S3 laboratories, in Ex areas and while working with toxic gases.

See also Arbeitsstättenverordnung, ASR A1.3 "Sicherheits- und Gesundheitsschutzkennzeichnung", ASR A2.3 "Fluchtwege und Notausgänge, Flucht- und Rettungsplan“, ASR A3.4 "Beleuchtung", ASR A3.4/3 "Sicherheitsbeleuchtung, optische Sicherheitsleitsysteme", DGUV Information 215-210 "Natürliche und künstliche Beleuchtung von Arbeitsstätten", DIN EN 1838 "Angewandte Lichttechnik – Notbeleuchtung".