Safety signs are a must for any business; how else are you going to keep employees and visitors safe from potential hazards and dangers? Safety signs don’t have to be complicated to succeed. They’re an easy way to let the public know about hazards in troublesome areas or around machines. They’re universal, are oftentimes necessary to comply with OSHA regulations and can make a great difference in setting the tone for safety at your workplace.
Ideally, it’s best to keep signs in areas that feature a risk of injury, where proper protection must be worn, where hazards aren't visible, where large vehicles like forklifts and trucks work or confined spaces.
Here are a few steps on using safety signs effectively:
- Keep It Simple, Keep It Immediate - Limiting your message to a few words helps alert people to potential dangers or hazards. Using simple, clear language avoids any situations where your words could complicate matters.
- Know Your Hazards - Identify all potential hazards surrounding the area. Try and keep an eye not for obvious dangers but for unexpected hazards too.
- Position Is Key - Make sure to post signs in areas where they can be easily visible and read from a distance to help people take note of hazardous areas. It's important to remember a sign's location relative to its hazard - it’s very easy for people to read it and forget by the time they get there!
- Use Colours - Use bright, vivid colours to help your sign stand out in a busy environment.
- Graphics Say It All - Think about how signs usually contain enough info to be understood and convey their message to everyone. More often than not, there's a symbol that clearly explains the danger. Using pictures, symbols or diagrams can help people easily pick up on the potential hazard from a distance - especially if they don’t speak English.
- Know Your Signs - Ensure workers know about your safety signs and the necessary precautions to take for each one. Quiz new workers on the importance of each safety sign put up near your workplace and what steps they would need to take to properly address each one.