Workplace Safety: Why Safety Signs Are Essential 

by Josh Biggs in Tips on 19th October 2019

No matter which industry you work in, health and safety should be a main priority. In fact, managing and controlling health and safety is a vital part of keeping your workforce happy, healthy and safe. Without safety signs in a business environment, employees won’t be aware of any potential hazards or know if there are any restrictions or rules in certain areas.

Let’s start with some workplace statistics from HSE:

  • In 2017/2018, there were 144 workers killed at work.
  • There were 555,000 injuries at work.
  • There were also 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related injury. 

There are a number of reasons why health and safety signs are an important addition to any workplace. As well as helping us to identify risks more easily, they’re also crucial to help any business comply with the law. Here are a few additional ways in which safety signs are essential:

Highlights important information.

Safety signs around the workplace are informational and can assist people in a number of ways. If someone walks into a new job and isn’t aware of the rules, signs can give them an idea of what is expected of them and how to keep safe in certain areas. For example, there may be familiar ‘no smoking’ signs in one area, or access signs in another. Most of the time, signs speak for themselves and because they’re so visual, it can give instant instruction. 

Prevents injury. 

Without signs warning of any potential risks in the workplace, the number of work related injuries would increase. This would also be the employers responsibility and if serious injury has occurred, a company may get sued for not having the correct signage in place to warn of any dangers. Putting the right signs in place can prevent an incident before it occurs, and will prevent more serious consequences, such as being liable for an injury, or even court cases. 

People will become more aware of their surroundings.

If employees see large, colourful signs dotted around, then they are going to take note. People will pay attention to what the sign is pointing out, and make a mental note to associate a particular area with a hazard or a rule. As a result, this will help the entire workforce be more wary of their surroundings and, if someone forgets, the sign is a visual reminder of a rule or potential risk. 

Important safety signs.

With large workplaces with numerous employees, it can be difficult to get the word around about health and safety issues and things to keep in mind. This can be particularly dangerous, especially when you have visitors or new staff. Health and safety combined with signage can prevent any miscommunication about rules, or those which everyone should be aware of. 

There are three main types of safety signs that can be broken down into further areas:

Safety instruction signs.

These signs indicate a rule to follow or something to bear in mind when carrying out a task or using a piece of equipment, for example. Safety signs such as this are usually white and green in colour. 

Caution/Danger signs.

Caution signs in yellow are there to indicate a hazard or an area that may result in injury if not careful. These areas should be avoided as much as possible. 

Prohibitory signs.

These signs are usually red and indicate behaviour that is a health and safety risk. Forbidden actions and behaviours that can cause serious injury may have a red circle and line to indicate this. 

The correct workplace safety signs can keep employees safe.

No matter your industry, it’s essential that all employees provide a safe and secure environment for their staff. Using workplace health and safety management system and signs, you can guide your employees in the right direction and keep them safe from any harm.  

Categories: Tips