Signs are all around us—we see them on the roadside, at the crosswalk, and at restaurants. Signs are important to the functionality of life including in the workplace. Signs are an important part of safety in the workplace, as the proper placement of signs can prevent injury. This is why it’s important as a safety manager to know what signs are needed, why they’re needed, and where to put them.
Some Are Mandatory
Some signs are mandatory. ANSI standards for signs include size of the sign, the text of the sign, the color of the sign and viewing distance. While ANSI standards are voluntary, the OSHA standards that use them as a foundation are not. OSHA standards warn workers of areas that are hazardous, and what kind of hazard. These hazards can include anything from biohazard, wet floor, high voltage, to radioactive materials. These signs need to be included around the workplace so that employees can keep themselves safe.
Other signs serve as reminders. For example, a sign about turning off the lights is a helpful reminder to employees who may forget to turn off the lights when they leave the room because they are preoccupied with other things. Other important signs that serve as helpful reminders include fire signs, reminders of where the fire extinguisher and fire alarm are located, as well as emergency escape routes. While these signs aren’t hazard signs, they are still important to the safety of your employees so that they know what to do in case of fire or other emergency.
Location is Important
The location of these signs is of the utmost importance. ANSI standards include location for many hazard signs, but you should also use common sense when putting up signs in the workplace. You want the sign to be close to the hazard so that is relevant, but not too close to another hazard. Too many signs close together can cause workers to get mixed messages. You also want your employees to be able to see the sign before they get to the hazardous area. If they can’t see the sign before they enter the hazardous area, then the sign should be moved.
Signs in the workplace are extremely important to the safety of your employees. Humans can be forgetful creatures and signs are important reminders of the dangers the workplace presents.
To increase safety in your workplace, try our EHS software tools!