Ensuring the safety of employees, contract workers, and visitors is essential for all organizations. Ignoring the need to warn people of potential hazards in the workplace can be a costly oversight as it can result in people getting hurt or even the loss of life and limb. The success of workplace safety depends on how well the management has identified potential hazards and communicated the need for caution to the people who may be affected. Some of the main reasons why organizations must use safety signs:
Immediate Visual Communication of Important Safety Messages
Understanding and implementing workplace health and safety policies require workers to read and learn a lot. Some of the more hazardous work requires complicated and long training programs before workers can attempt them safely. Even though you cannot dispense with safety manuals, signs can communicate safety messages visually, immediately, and precisely. A typical safety sign incorporates a pictographic illustration, simple text, and an attention-grabbing visual design. Often colors and shapes are used to increase their visibility and communicate the safety message at a glance. The visual nature of safety signs ensures that even people who may not be familiar with English will understand them. These signs are also effective when the workplace is noisy, and workers may not hear verbal warnings.
Highlights Safe Practices As Well As Hazards
Safety signs do much more than offer alerts to potential hazards. In many instances, they serve to remind workers of the safest and most efficient ways of working. Organizations can use signs to point to safe exit routes, assembly points in case of emergencies requiring evacuation, how to manage fire, operate machinery safely, and point to the location of first aid kits. Many companies display their safety policies and rules on signs and also show the location of fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. Caution signs provide workers with a quick reference point they can consult on demand without waiting for the health and safety staff.
All workplaces need to display relevant safety signs as required by law. Safety signs must be clear, legible, placed to be highly visible, and maintained well for use in the following situations:
- To warn people not to take hazardous and prohibited action in a specified area
- To draw attention to precautions and procedures to be followed or equipment to be worn
- To bring to notice nearby hazards or a potentially dangerous situation
- To show people where essential safety and firefighting equipment is stored
When companies do not comply with the legal requirement and accidents take place, they may be fined, in addition to which they run the risk of reputational damage. According to Forbes, workplace safety is not just about compliance but about keeping everyone safe with a comprehensive approach to safety.
One should not assume that safety signs only benefit workers and visitors to the workplace. Some safety signs warn the public exposed to hazards in locations outside the workplace. Safety signs are among the most important elements of organizational culture with a strong bias on health and safety. They are proven to deliver consistent, practical, and measurable benefits to organizations and the workforce.