05th May, 2023 Read time 2 minutes

Why signage is so important for keeping workers safe

Safety signs are crucial when it comes to effective communication of risks in the workplace and the different colours and types of signs often correlate to different meanings, so having a good understanding of them is essential.

This week we explore the importance of signage and why having clear signs for the office and wider workplaces is so important for keeping workers productive and healthy. 


Hazard identification 

Signs can help workers identify potential hazards in the workplace. Warning signs can alert workers to potential dangers, such as electrical hazards, hazardous materials, or falling objects. Informational signs can provide workers with critical information about equipment, machinery, and processes, helping them to identify risks and take appropriate precautions.

Signs can also provide emergency information and instructions, such as evacuation routes, fire exits, and first aid stations. This information can help workers respond quickly and appropriately in the event of an emergency, potentially reducing injuries and fatalities.


Safety instructions 

Signs can provide workers with important safety instructions and guidelines. For example, signs can remind workers to wear protective gear, such as hard hats, safety glasses, or respirators, or to follow specific safety procedures, such as locking out machinery before performing maintenance.

This reinforcement is crucial when it comes to building a long-term culture of safety at work, creating habitual responses where safety equipment is worn will help keep people safe and productive when they go to work. 

Whilst signage is important, encouraging workers to follow safety instructions and wear safety equipment is something that can be achieved through various channels. 

Leading by example as a health and safety manager or senior member of staff is crucial and rewarding compliance and positive safety behaviours can prove useful. This can be done in addition to making it a company policy and educating workers on the dangers of not paying attention to safety signs and wearing the correct protective equipment. 


Consistent messaging 

Consistent signage throughout a workplace can help reinforce safety messages and ensure that workers understand and follow safety protocols. This is especially important in larger workplaces with multiple hazards and safety procedures.

Having signs that follow the best practice set out by the HSE Executive is crucial when it comes to creating signage that can be seen, comprehended and effective in terms of signposting and managing risks. 


Consider signs in the risk assessment

Make sure you have considered office and workplace signage when developing a risk assessment, they are an important element to your health and safety management system and will help keep workers and other bystanders safe from hazards. 

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