Safety signs are visual aids that communicate important safety information and warn employees and others of potential hazards in that area. There are 4 main types of safety signs used in indoor and outdoor settings, and they can take various forms, such as posters, labels, and signboards.
Safety signs are essential in every workplace as they are one of the main ways of communicating important health and safety information to employees, contractors, and members of the public. Keep reading to discover the five reasons why every type of business requires safety signs.
1. They Are Educational
Suppose you work in an industrial or construction workplace where dangers are all around you. In that case, safety signs are essential for educating workers, visitors, and potential members of the public, for example, exit signs. There’s no such thing as too many safety signs, as your business must be prepared for every eventuality possible.
2. They Can Be Used as Preventative Measures
Unfortunately, no matter how much training and education you can give staff and visitors about workplace safety, there will always be some injury. However, every business has the opportunity to prevent the risk of severe injury through the installation of a simple safety sign, and they are super important for anyone who works in a hazardous environment, such as a construction site or manufacturing facility.
Safety signs are ideal for alerting employees and others of potential hazards, such as wet floors or high voltage, and providing information on safe work practices and procedures. Safety signs can also indicate the proper use of the equipment and provide instructions for emergency procedures.
When choosing the right kind of safety sign to cope with the environmental effects of working outdoors, it is best to install weatherproof outdoor signs/ labels to ensure the longevity of any safety signs your business installs.
3. They Are a Legal Requirement
In many countries, the use of safety signs in the workplace is a legal requirement to ensure a safe working environment and to prevent accidents and injuries. In the USA, the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), for example, requires employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees and to use safety signs to help prevent accidents and injuries.
Similarly, in the UK, The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers to use safety signs wherever a significant risk has not been avoided or controlled by other means. The regulations apply to all workplaces, including those not covered by other regulations.
Suppose employers fail to comply with their legal requirements and incidents occur. In that case, they could risk significant fines and damage to their reputation, which is why no business should ever ignore the importance of installing essential safety signage.
4. They Provide Instant Safety Information
Safety signs are great as they feature clear, easy-to-understand illustrations of the hazard they’re presenting, along with simple text instructions and eye-catching visuals. They are color-coded and uniquely shaped so that employees are made aware if they are entering a high-risk area or when they need to take action to ensure their safety and those around them.
Whatever industry your business operates in, there is a high possibility that you will require some form of safety sign, even if it's something as simple as a ‘fire door: keep shut’ sign.
5. They Can Be Used To Help the Public
As well as ensuring the safety of your employees in the workplace, safety signs can also protect the public by warning them of potential dangers. For example, a "No Trespassing" sign can help keep the public out of areas that are not safe for them to be in, such as construction sites or hazardous waste storage locations. Safety signs can also indicate the location of emergency exits, emergency equipment, and first aid stations, which can be necessary for the public in an emergency.
Safety signs can even be used in lower-risk environments like retail shops or offices to highlight areas that may cause injury, for example, ‘mind your head’ signage or regions in which only employees are permitted to access, for instance, the stockroom. Injuries to members of the public are distressing for everyone involved and likely to damage your business’s reputation, which is why public-facing safety signs can deliver so much value.
Written by Kate on behalf of health and safety equipment supplier, Morsafe.