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Why good lighting is key to on-site safety for rail projects

The right lighting improves on-site safety, helping to prevent accidents and protect workers.

For most people, the phrase ‘on-site health and safety’ calls to mind images of hard hats and high-vis vests. But another key factor keeps rail workers safe every day – namely, good quality light.

Lighting towers aren’t just vital for those working on the railway overnight or during the darker months of the year; they form an essential part of any serious health and safety plan. Indeed, from increased visibility to reduced eye strain, good-quality lighting towers offer a range of benefits – making them a non-negotiable asset for any rail project.

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That’s why Welfare Hire is so proud of its innovative range of lighting towers. They improve on-site safety in three clear ways.

  1. Awareness of hazards

Improving the quality of lighting in a workspace has been proven to reduce accidents by 52%.¹ With more light – and less glare – workers can see exactly what they’re doing, making it less likely they’ll trip or fall.

They can also properly assess hazards, which is particularly important when working on the rail network – a dangerous environment, even during daylight hours.

Network Rail acknowledges the importance of adequate site lighting, stating that “making sure the area in which we’re working is well lit is a crucial part of health and safety.”

2.Cognitive load

Poor lighting forces rail workers to strain their eyes, which can cause long-term harm to their sight. It can also affect their concentration, leaving them struggling to see rather than focusing on the task at hand. This, in turn, can lead to costly and dangerous accidents or errors.

These problems are collectively known as ‘increased cognitive load’, with research proving that poor lighting lowers cognitive performance.² If the lighting is poor or inconsistent, your workforce is constantly distracted; it’s the equivalent of asking them to do brain teasers while they work.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) stresses the need to combat mental fatigue onsite, stating that it “may cause or contribute to dangerous errors.”

3.Wellbeing and health

Ultimately, increased cognitive load impacts the mental and physical health of workers. Straining to see – or constantly experiencing glare – can cause headaches and increase stress.

This is borne out by evidence: studies have shown that better lighting can reduce the number of sick days employees take, as well as increasing output.² With better lighting towers, workers aren’t just safer – they feel better, are less likely to be absent and are ultimately more productive.

How Welfare Hire can help

Welfare Hire’s innovative lighting towers aren’t just environmentally friendly  – they’re also a vital health and safety resource. 

Every tower is capable of lighting half a football field, providing enough illumination for the toughest infrastructure projects. And each of the tower’s six light heads can be individually positioned, ensuring that optimum light reaches every area of your site. 

For contractors looking to increase onsite safety and protect their teams, these lighting towers are an ideal solution. And with 99.1% perfect hires, we provide a seamless, market-leading service that will make the transition fast and easy.

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