Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

5205.0120 MINIMUM LEVELS OF ILLUMINATION.

Subpart 1.

For traversed spaces.

Illumination by daylight or artificial light shall be supplied for traversed spaces, such as hallways, roadways, etc., during working hours, and for work when attended by operators. Minimum levels of illumination, as listed in the following table, are required in all places of employment in Minnesota. Values greater than these minima shall be used when ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Division.

Illumination on Traversed Spaces

Recommended Minimum Footcandles
Roadways, yard thoroughfares 2-1
Storage spaces, aisles and passageways in workrooms, excepting exits and passageways leading thereto 3-2
Spaces such as stairways, hallways, exits and passages leading thereto 5-3
Spaces such as locker rooms, wash rooms, toilet rooms, and passageways where there are exposed moving machines, hot pipes, or live electric parts 6-4

Subp. 2.

At the working place.

Illumination at the Work

Recommended Minimum Footcandles
Where discrimination of detail is not essential: Work such as handling material of a coarse nature, grinding clay products, rough sorting, coal and ash handling, foundry charging 5-3
Where slight discrimination of detail is essential: Work such as rough machining, rough assembling, rough bench work, rough forging, grain milling 10-5
Where moderate discrimination of detail is essential: Work such as machining, assembly work, bench work, fine core making in foundries 30
Where close discrimination of detail is essential: Work such as fine lathe work, pattern making, tool making, weaving or sewing light-colored silk or woolen textiles, office-work, accounting, typewriting 50
Where discrimination of minute detail is essential: Work such as drafting, weaving or sewing dark colored material, very fine inspection or inspection of very dark goods 100-25

The preceding table gives the range of minimum illumination values that are considered desirable for different classes of work. These values are based upon practice established through years of experience. Elderly persons or persons with defective eyesight require more light than do those having perfect vision. A range of footcandle values is given for each group of operations. In modern practice it will usually be found desirable to select values in or even beyond the upper portion of the range.

It is recognized that any specific process when carried on in different factories is performed with different degrees of fineness and with other variations, so that one factory may need more illumination than another for the same class of work. In the table, ranges of footcandle values are given to correspond to the variations actually existing in practice. Attention is called to the fact that the values in the table are operating values, that is, they apply to measurements of the lighting system in ordinary use, not simply when the lamps and reflectors are new and clean.

Statutory Authority:

MS s 182.657

Published Electronically:

June 11, 2008