It’s not enough anymore to simply put out a few safety signs in the workplace. For starters, there are certain OSHA and other governmental regulations for some industries and types of signs, so you might not be compliant with the law if don’t put much thought into it. But protecting your employees is a vital part of doing business – and staying in business. As an example, more than $1.5 billion dollars was paid in 2010 in work-related injury claims in Georgia alone, according to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Therefore, designing safety signs for your business is one of the most important steps you can take in maintaining an injury-free workplace.
Check All Regulations for Signs
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has certain rules governing the types of signs you display and where you place them. There may be other governmental regulations to look into as well. Failure to adhere to OSHA regulations could lead to a citation, which, in turn, could lead to a substantial fine, ranging from several thousand dollars to a maximum fine of $70,000 for a “willful” violation. Your office should have a compliance officer who ensures that you are compliant with all standards regarding signage and other safety matters.
Designing Danger and Caution Signs
There are plenty of companies that will design OSHA-compliant signs. You can also design your own warning signs if you’re 100 percent sure that your signs will meet the standards. Whether you design the sign yourself or pay someone to do it, though, there are certain factors to consider.
- Danger signs: Danger signs should be displayed where an immediate hazard exists, according to OSHA. Red should be the main color of the upper panel of your sign, with a black outline around the borders. A white lower panel should be used for additional wording.
- Caution signs: This is for just as the name implies: as a caution. These signs should alert others of potential hazards and warn against possible unsafe practices, according to OSHA. Yellow is the main color, with black on the borders and upper panel. The word “caution” should be used in yellow along the black panel, while the lower yellow area should be used for additional warnings, and the text should be in black.
Designing Safety and Construction Signs
There are rules, too, for designing safety instruction signs and in construction areas. A snapshot of some of those rules include:
- Exit signs: The letters should be no less than 6 inches and red on a white background. The width of the letters should be at least three-fourths of an inch, according to OSHA.
- Safety instruction signs: The signs should be white with a green upper panel. The letters should be white. Additional text should be black and set against the white background.
- Construction area traffic signs: Traffic signs in construction areas must be legible and placed at the potential hazard areas. OSHA has a long set of rules governing signs used to protect construction workers, too.
Signs Protect Your Greatest Asset – Your Employees
Remember, when designing and placing safety signs, they should be visible at all times and should be removed once the hazard no longer exists. Signs not only inform employees about potential dangers and inform them of best practices, but they also help employees and visitors alike stay safe.