Reducing workplace incidents with safety signage

Injuries, accidents and even deaths occur in the workplace every year. In many cases, you can avoid this by simply improving safety awareness. The best and easiest way to do this is with the use of high-quality safety signage. This quickly and succinctly educates and reminds people of how to stay safe and how to react in emergencies.

Every employer must take steps to protect their workforce. One of the best ways to do this is with the use of instructional signs. When placed in relevant places, these signs can educate and remind both employees and visitors of the rules that they must follow, how to stay safe and what to do in an emergency situation.

Similar to road signs, these signs have been designed to communicate their message instantly. This is through the use of pictograms, bold text and stark colours. This ensures that people can respond to emergencies and they are immediately aware of safety procedures.

It is important to use signs in all industries, but especially in hazardous ones and businesses with members of the public onsite. A few examples of the type of workplaces where these signs feature heavily include hospitals, construction sites and schools.

Accidents do occur in the workplace and often these you could avoid these by improving health and safety awareness. Unfortunately, there were 2,515 workplace deaths and over 621,000 injuries in 2016. Although this is a large number, it indicates that there are fewer incidents than in previous years. A lot of this is because of the Health and Safety Act which requires employers to display signs.

The legislation covers the use of these signs, and there are 5 different types of safety sign:

  • Prohibition – These red signs are used to prohibit certain behaviours. No smoking is a common prohibition sign.
  • Warning – Yellow or amber signs that indicate a risk to health or safety. Danger electrical hazard is one example.
  • Mandatory – The opposite of a prohibition sign, mandatory signs are blue and prescribe certain behaviours. Fire door keep shut is a common mandatory sign.
  • Fire Safety – Red signs which provide information on escape routes, where to locate firefighting equipment or give warning in case of fire. The most common Fire Safety sign is: Fire alarm call point signs.
  • Safe Condition – Safe condition signs are green and provide information on emergency exits or the location of rescue facilities or first aid. Fire exit is the most common safe condition sign.

To determine what signage your business requires, you will need to carry out a risk assessment. This will show what threats and hazards you face and what areas of the building need signs. Many organisations find it beneficial to move their signs from time to time. This ensures that people do not ignore the sign and the message remains at the forefront of their mind.

Workplaces can be dangerous places and there are an enormous amount of injuries and even death each year. One of the easiest ways to prevent this from happening is the use of high-quality safety signs.

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