In a recent survey conducted by the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, eight out of 10 drivers said they preferred that road maintenance was performed during off-peak hours, which is why most road construction occurs at night. Traffic is reduced, productivity increases, it seems like a pretty good deal. That is, until you start to lose visibility in the dark. What happens when the sun goes down?

The lack of visibility, both for you and drivers coming through the area, is the most important reason to come up with a lighting plan for your site. Not only can it increase efficiency, it could save lives. Proper and adequate work zone lighting, along with proper reflective PPE, can help make your workers, and the traveling public, safer in these conditions.

Develop a Lighting Plan

Creating a lighting plan for each job you complete is extremely important. Creating a basic scheme allows you to provide the appropriate amount of lighting, better guide drivers through the site, and improve the overall safety of your employees. Your plan should evaluate the need for both stationary and portable construction lights. Stationary construction work lights are generally on tripods or conventional light towers, while portable construction work lights usually move along with the construction site.

Lighting Levels

When developing a lighting plan, you should take into consideration the type of work you’ll be doing, as well as the level of lighting you’ll need to accommodate them. There are three types of lighting levels, as defined by OSHA standards. Level one illumination is required for all work areas, including lane or road closures, lane closure tapers, and flagging stations. Level two is recommended on or around any heavy equipment such as milling and concrete replacement. Level three is recommended for pavement or structural crack filling, as well as installation of electrical or mechanical equipment. Knowing the duties you’ll be performing is essential in choosing the proper temporary construction lighting for each task.

Light it Up!

Once you’ve determined the levels of lighting and where you’ll need to place your construction work lights, it’s time to put the plan into action. Once the lighting plan is activated, field observations of the work zone lighting should be performed by driving and walking through the area. From the vantage point of a vehicle, you should have a clear view of the site and all of its areas, including intended traffic flow.

Once the review is complete, you should make adjustments as necessary and continue to monitor the lighting situation. And don’t forget to avoid too much light! Glare can impair the vision of workers and drivers alike.