Signs Make Your Workplace Safer
Every workplace has hazards. Workers need to be aware of the specific hazards of their work area, as well as those in other areas of the facility. Signs are an important component of every workplace. They remind workers of safe work practices, and alert those in the area of the hazards they may encounter.
OSHA has specifications for safety signs that apply to the design, application, and use of signs or symbols to indicate and define specific workplace hazards. OSHA states that the type of sign used in a situation should be appropriate for the degree of hazard.
Following are the steps that need to be taken in order to use safety signs effectively in your workplace, and be in compliance with OSHA regulations:
- Identify all potential hazards in all areas of your workplace, including office and industrial space, public areas, and spaces outside your facility. You must also identify hazards that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not apparent
- Select or design appropriate safety signs. Signs should be consistent throughout your facility
- According to OSHA, the wording of the sign should be easily read and concise. The sign should contain sufficient information to be easily understood. The wording should make a positive, rather than negative, suggestion and should be accurate in fact
- Signs should be positioned so that they’re easily visible and legible from a distance
- Make sure safety equipment such as eyewash stations, safety showers, and fire equipment are clearly identified with appropriate signs
- Review your sign program whenever new hazards are introduced. If signs are not updated to reflect hazards, your workplace may not be in compliance
OSHA also requires that:
- Signs must have rounded or blunt corners free from sharp edges, burrs, splinters, or other sharp projections
- The ends or head of bolts or other fastening devices should be located in such a way that they do not create a hazard
- The design of accident prevention signs must be uniform in all work areas
- Signs must be visible at all times when work is being performed
- Signs must be removed or covered when the recognized hazard no longer exists