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Stay Safe with Proper Signage in Your Workplace

If you manage or own a business, you know that keeping your employees safe is a top priority. One important way to promote safety is through effective signage in your workplace. Recent regulations outline specific requirements for safety signs that all workplaces should follow.

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 state that employers must provide and maintain safety signs when there are significant risks that can't be removed. Signs should be a last resort after trying other methods to control hazards.

Signs must:

  • Be clear and easy to understand

  • Identify unsafe areas to avoid

  • Direct people to safety equipment like exits and first aid

  • Use colors and symbols mandated by regulations

Avoid too many signs, as this can be confusing. Only use signs where they will clearly lower risk. Consult risk assessments to identify residual hazards requiring signs.

Key types of signs include:

  • Prohibitory - round with red slash through black image on white background (no smoking, no access etc.)

  • Warning - yellow triangle with black symbol on white background (radiation hazard, toxic materials etc.)

  • Mandatory - round with white symbol on blue background (wear PPE, wash hands etc.)

  • Emergency/First Aid - rectangle with white symbol on green background (exits, first aid kits etc.)

  • Fire Safety - rectangle with white symbol on red background (fire extinguishers etc.)

Make sure staff understand what signs mean through training. Use hand signals consistently and appropriately. Illuminated signs and audible alerts can also warn of danger if used judiciously.

Proper workplace signage keeps your employees safe and demonstrates your commitment to a hazard-free environment. Follow signage regulations and best practices for a safer workplace.


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