Dear Mr P Coxwell
Thank you for your enquiry regarding Fluorescent Lighting.
The HSE do not hold information in relation to fluorescent lighting and the requirements to be fitted with either diffusers or other guards to protect the tubes.
Employers have a general duty of care toward their employees under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees
while at work.
Section 2 of the Act places general duties on the employer towards employees.
There is a duty of care under section 2 which places duties on employers with regards to their employees. However, section 2 only sets down a general goal, it is not specific:
2. -- (1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
Additionally Section 3 places general duties upon employers and the self-employed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of anyone not in their employment who are likely to affected by their undertaking.
Reference: Health and safety at Work etc Act 1974 ISBN 0105437743 £12.35
Available from HMSO;
Stationery Office Ltd
PO Box 29
Telephone: 0870 600 5522
Additionally it would be subject to a risk assessment to ensure the lights are safe and also placed in a safe position:
Risk assessments are a legal requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Regulation 3 stipulates that:
Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of -
(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.
The Approved Code of Practice goes on to say:
This regulation requires all employers and self-employed people to assess the risks to workers and any others who may be affected by their work or business. This will enable them to identify the measures they need to take to comply with health and safety law. All employers should carry out a systematic general examination of the effect of their undertaking, their work activities and the condition of the premises. Those who employ five or more employees should record the significant findings of that risk assessment.
A risk assessment is carried out to identify the risks to health and safety to any person arising out of, or in connection with, work or the conduct of their undertaking. It should identify how the risks arise and how they impact on those affected. This information is needed to make decisions on
how to manage those risks so that the decisions are made in an informed, rational and structured manner, and the action taken is proportionate.
A risk assessment should usually involve identifying the hazards present in any working environment or arising out of commercial activities and work activities, and evaluating the extent of the risks involved, taking into account existing precautions and their effectiveness. In this approved code of practice:
(a) a hazard is something with the potential to cause harm (this can include articles, substances, plant or machines, methods of work, the working environment and other aspects of work organisation);
(b) a risk is the likelihood of potential harm from that hazard being realised. The extent of the risk will depend on:
(i) the likelihood of that harm occurring;
(ii) the potential severity of that harm, i.e. of any resultant injury or adverse health effect; and
(iii) the population which might be affected by the hazard, i.e. the number of people who might be exposed.
Reference: L21: The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Approved Code of Practice and Guidance, ISBN 0717624889, £8.00.
The HSE also produce the following publications on risk assessment:
HSG183, Five Steps to Risk Assessment : Case Studies, ISBN 0717615804,
INDG163, Five Steps to risk assessments, single copies are free.
All of the publications referred to are available from HSE Books:
PO Box 1999,
Suffolk, CO10 2WA.
Tel: 01787 881165
Fax: 01787 313995
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.hsebooks.com
Many of the free publications can also be downloaded from the HSE Website: http://www.hse.gov.uk
There are three methods of payment currently available from HSE Books:
1. Via the post, bank cheques/ postal orders made payable to HSE Books
2. Via the telephone, American Express, Master Card or Visa
3. Approved credit account customers may use the Banks Automated
Clearing System. However, new accounts are not being set up.
Further guidance on lighting can be obtained from the following organisation:
CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers)
22 Balham High Road
Telephone: 0208 675 5211
As an information service we are only able to provide information that is published in HSE regulations or associated guidance.
For advice/ interpretation on the above subject you will need to speak to your enforcing authority for health and safety.
The enforcing office which covers your workplace is dependent on the nature
of the activities carried out at that workplace.
The HSE enforce over premises such as factories, building sites, mines, farms, fairgrounds, quarries, railways, chemical plant, offshore and nuclear installations, schools and hospitals.
A map/list of all HSE regions is available on the web at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/maps/index.htm
The Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority enforce over premises such as retailing, some warehouses, most offices, hotels and catering, sports, leisure, consumer services and places of worship.
The telephone number for the Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority should be available from your local telephone directory.
Alternatively, the details of all local authorities can be found via the A-Z of local authorities facility of the following website: www.direct.gov.uk
I hope this helps, but if you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact this address again or telephone HSE Infoline on 08453 450055.
HSE is committed to maintaining your personal information in a manner that meets the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Sometimes, we may need to pass your details to another government department or public body so that they can help you with your enquiry.