Reminder: New Nighttime Lighting Requirements Take Effect July 1

Brian German Agri-Business, Regulation

The updated parameters for nighttime lighting requirements established by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) are set to take effect on July 1.  The ‘Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness‘ rule takes into account much of the feedback the industry provided throughout the course of the rulemaking process. The end result was shaped into something that will be much more achievable for growers than the initial proposal of requirements. California grape growers may be uniquely

Lighting Requirements

“Their Injury and Illness Prevention Program already probably includes a lot of the provisions of this new standard.  I think that in practice, a lot of this, if not all of it, is already occurring for most, if not every grower in California,” said Michael Miiller, Director of Government Relations for California Association of Winegrape Growers. “From my perspective, this should be something that growers can easily comply with and probably are already complying with.”

The new lighting requirements will be effective for any work being performed after sundown and before sunrise. During the process of developing the new standard, the agricultural was successful in urging Cal/OSHA to adopt a more functional rule.  Some of the initial proposals lacked sufficient clarity and did not differentiate between area lighting and task lighting. The rule details exactly what type of light level will be expected in specific areas of a worksite. While many operations may already unknowingly be in compliance with the new lighting standard, Miiler has a few suggestions to ensure compliance.

“I would recommend getting a light meter and keeping track of what’s happening out there so that you have it documented,” Miiler explained. “Also, you might want to doublecheck your IIPP. Take a look at that and see to what extent you’ve addressed lighting issues; how you’ve done that.  I think also, always sit down with your HR professional and your legal counsel to doublecheck everything and dot the i’s and cross the t’s.” 

Listen to the interview below.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West