What are the requirements concerning proper lighting to perform a job?

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What are the requirements concerning proper lighting to perform a job?

My husband works the graveyard shift at the local mall. There is insufficient lighting but the boss announced at the most recent employee meeting that “the needs of the third shift are unimportant at this time.” Is there a requirement for the company to provide sufficient lighting for the employees to perform the functions of their job. My husband has been asking to have lightbulbs replaced since shortly after he started 8 months ago.

Asked on August 1, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may get some relief if this is an "OSHA" violation. Congress passed the Occupational and Safety Health Act to ensure worker and workplace safety. The goal is to make sure employers provide their workers a place of employment free from recognized hazards to safety and health, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions. Proper lighting would most likely be included. Since OSHA is federal it applies equally in all states. Additionally, there may be state and/or local building and/or fire code regulations that provide for more lighting.

Your husband should contact the NC Attorney General's office of your state's department of labor for more specific information as to how best to handle this matter.


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