Safety signs are crucial in any work environment. They are important safety communication tools designed to inform employees about potential hazards that can lead to injuries or even death if not dealt with properly.
The signs you see around your workplace can be a powerful reminder of the dangers that lurk in the shadows. Workplace safety signs serve as the first line of defense against potentially hazardous and deadly situations. Regardless of the industry you are in, industrial hazards exist in almost every work environment. You will notice safety signs almost everywhere you go. They can be found in offices, construction sites, schools, parking lots, warehouses, and countless other places. Signs are placed in highly visible locations, with eye-catching bold letters and bright colors, displaying messages from tripping hazards and PPE requirements to handwashing reminders.
One of the most fundamental safety sign best practices is to ensure the signs in your workplace meet the requirements set by several regulatory bodies. The three main regulatory and enforcement authorities in the United States are OSHA, ANSI, and the Department of Defense. ANSI is a private organization that creates voluntary standards, while OSHA is a regulatory government body with the power to write ANSI standards into occupational law.
They each have crucial requirements for the safety programs used in a variety of industries and must be adhered to. For example, under OSHA, employers must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards and comply with OSHA standards.
Noncompliance violations can result in significant fines ranging from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to abate willful or repeated breaches. While it is uncommon, businesses might face misdemeanor criminal prosecution for serious OSHA violations.
According to ANSI requirements, safety signs must be readable and placed to alert and inform viewers from a safe viewing distance. This means safety signs can be posted on walls, machines, doors, shelves, the floor, and so on. Signs that indicate first aid locations, exits and mandatory safety measures should be placed in areas where they will be easy for workers to see.
There are many different types of safety signs with different kinds of information. If a sign increases safety, it's worth having in the workplace. However, if there are too many signs in one place, the vital messages may be overlooked or disregarded.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have already achieved compliance. If all possible hazards have been addressed, feel free to add more signs that provide information or instructions.
Examples of additional signs that can help enhance safety:
Security, surveillance, and alarm signs create the perception of surveillance and the danger of potential threats. These signs protect people and property by keeping people out of locations where they should not go.
Prohibition signs are used to stop or discourage people from performing a specific action or showing that an action is forbidden completely.
Office signs are necessary not just for people to navigate in an office environment, but also to make sure the building maintains an organized, safe, and efficient workflow. Throughout each office complex, there are hundreds of signs, from floor signs to maps, that are used to spread messages.
Sign materials can play a major role in ensuring safety signs are visible and remain unchanged for the lifetime of your signage. For example, a moveable safety sign needs to be durable enough to withstand elementary handling by customers, such as light prying and lifting. For moveable safety signs, be sure to select an appropriate attachment method, such as magnetic attachment options for easy relocation or holes for mechanical attachment for signs.
Every sign from AccuformNMC is American-made and skillfully crafted with technologically advanced inks on quality materials to ensure you are receiving the quality signage you expect.
Adhesive Vinyl (VS) – Ideal for indoor and sheltered outdoor marking needs. Flexible vinyl with a printed matte surface. Permanent adhesive back with peel-off liner.
Plastic (VP) – Impact-resistant and pliable, plastic is durable for indoor and sheltered outdoor use. Print is protected by Sign Muscle® to guard against harsh abuse and even graffiti. Rounded corners with mounting holes.
Aluminum (VA) – Ideal for tough indoor and harsh outdoor locations.
Rigid aluminum provides metal strength without rust. Print is protected by Sign Muscle® to guard against harsh abuse and even graffiti withstands wash-downs, abrasion, and chemical splashes—rounded corners with mounting holes.