The Importance of Safety Signs for Your Small Business Workplace

If you want to be sure your workplace is safe for employees, customers, vendors, and other visitors, then keeping proper safety signs out at the appropriate times is a great way to do just that. Safety signs can be very helpful in avoiding injuries or illnesses in certain situations, and even offer some degree of defense in litigations.

No matter what type of business you operate though, there are usually good reasons to have safety signs, whether it is for hazards at a construction site or a spill in a restaurant to keep customers from slipping and falling in that area. Here is some vital information about using safety signs in the workplace.

Why They Are So Important

Safety signs are important in the workplace both for employee and public safety. They are one of the most efficient ways to give warnings, safety, and health information. When someone can’t be in a certain area all the time communicating dangers or safety concerns, there needs to be another early warning system. Safety signs perform this role.

Safety signs range from custom-made printed signs to signs explaining how equipment (like fire extinguishers) work in an emergency. Not only do the signs need to contain certain colors and fonts to be well read and understood, but they should be brief and make sense at the same time.

Legal Issues

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides rules, regulations, and specifications concerning safety signs and tags. These specifications give instructions for using safety signs and signals, including when they should be used and certain requirements, like pattern, shape, and color.

Each sign color has a different meaning.. There are also universal symbols on signs that let someone know what kind of safety, health, or hazard warning they should be aware of. With most safety signs, important information is in the symbol and color, while the text is merely adding to the essential information and letting others know about the warning or danger. There are also laws about faded or cracked signs, and when they need  replaced so they are easy to read.

Types of Safety Signs

Each different type of warning sign is a different color, with four main types included. These include red, green, yellow and blue, each differing in when the sign is used and what type of danger level or safety warning it is.

  • Red-Colored Signs. Red is of course the sign used for the highest amount of danger, including evacuating information in an emergency, a danger alarm, and identifying firefighting equipment in emergencies. They are usually a round, rectangular or square shape, depending on if it is a danger alarm or for fire equipment.
  • Yellow-Colored Signs. Next is the yellow sign, which is a warning sign for precautions and being careful in certain areas.
  • Blue-Colored Signs. Blue signs provide mandatory instructions, such as informing employees to always wear goggles and hard hats in a certain area of the workplace.
  • Green-Colored Signs. Finally, there are green signs, which are typically used for first aid or emergency escape, but not danger. These are used at escape routes, doors and exits.

Be sure when you are placing safety signs in the workplace, you are using the right types of signs, they are in good condition, and can be seen easily. In addition to using safety signs and signals, have a general liability insurance policy and workers’ compensation insurance for additional protection.