The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government organization that sets regulations for the safety of employees at work. A foot-candle is the United States unit of measurement of how much light is emitted from a light source. OSHA has set regulations on minimum light requirements in workplaces to ensure the safety of those working in areas where a certain amount of light is required to do the job safely and effectively.
OSHA regulations state that all of the following areas should be lit to a minimum of 3 foot-candles: active storage areas, excavation and waste areas, loading platforms, field maintenance areas, access ways and refueling areas.
OSHA standards state that a minimum of 5 foot-candles should be used to illuminate corridors, warehouses, hallways, general construction areas, and exit ways. The type of light source does not matter as much as the minimum amount of illumination provided. In the case of emergencies for those working underground, headlights are required.
During drilling, scaling or mucking in tunnels and shafts, a minimum of 10 foot-candles is required by OSHA standards. Mess halls, indoor toilets and storerooms must also be lit to 10 foot-candles.
In areas where precise and detailed work may be difficult to do under less light, 30 foot-candles are required. Examples where 30 foot-candles are required include hospital infirmaries, offices and first aid stations.