Role of Signage in Communicating Potential Workplace Hazards

Safety is essential for any workplace. There is a legal and ethical obligation for employers to make sure their employees are safe. One of the ways this can be done is by communicating potential hazards through signage. This will be a visual reminder for the employees and any visitors to the building.

It is important to identify the hazards first

So that these areas or equipment can be clearly labelled. Some of the warning signs you will see in the workplace will be signs indicating areas that have electrical hazards, heavy machinery and hazardous materials. Once the employees see these signs, they will be able to take appropriate precautions. Some hazards are an immediate risk to the health and safety of employees and you need to make sure there are signs to alert employees of the presence of these risks. For example, these can be signs indicating high voltage areas of the building and slippery floors. This gives a warning to the employees that they are to proceed with caution. In addition to alerting the employees regarding the hazards, these signs will also guide them on the procedures for safety. There are instructional signs in the workplace that will give information on emergency evacuation routines, location of first aid stations and fire extinguishers so that the employees are able to respond to emergencies effectively. These signs will have clear language on what steps to take so that confusion can be minimised. This will ensure that a quick response to an emergency is taken.

Hazard signage will also remind employees to be vigilant of the workplace hazards.

They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their colleagues. This can be reinforced with regular exposure to these signs. This is why it is so important to inspect these signs regularly to check whether there are any obstructions, fading or discolouration of the sign that can make it less prominent. There are certain industry standards for workplace safety and this is ensures by effective signage. There are specific signs that are mandated to be in the workplace to communicate hazards. There are regulatory agencies that mandate this and if a workplace is found to be in non-compliance, it can result in legal liabilities, fines and penalties for the employers.

In a diverse workplace,

The employees will speak different languages and it is important to have multilingual signage so that the safety information is accessible for everyone. This is ensured by having universally recognised symbols and pictograms on signs along with text in multiple languages. This can bridge the language barriers and ensure that all employees understand the safety message given by the sign. To ensure that employees are familiar with signage and the accompanying content, there should be safety training programmes carried out so that they can retain critical safety information. The signage in the workplace has to be reviewed regularly and updated so that they reflect any changes in the workplace hazards.