Work injuries affect everyone. Workers sustain injuries and lose wages while recuperating, and employers take on the high costs of hospital and insurance bills. Not to mention what the company might shell out for a worker’s compensation claim. This makes workplace safety vital to any organization.
It is the responsibility of employers and office managers to make health and safety a top priority for their employees. Ensuring employees are informed about the existing and potential hazards in the facility, and the consequences when exposed to these dangers, is crucial in preventing accidents. One of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate workplace risks is using the appropriate safety signs and markings.
Posting safety signs in your place of work is not only required by law, it also serves as an important protection and accident prevention tool to keep your workers safe from potential work dangers. Safety signs help prevent chaos when disasters happen or when tackling emergency situations. These workplace signs are the quickest and most direct mode of communication between management and the staff in presenting critical safety information.
Before selecting the safety signs for your facility, here are some guidelines to help ensure the safety signs you choose will be utilized to their best capacity:
Step 1: Identify all hazards
First, you need to identify all the potential hazards in your workplace. This includes all industrial areas and offices, as well as public areas and other locations outside of the facility. You need to mark the obvious hazards, and also identify those that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not readily evident
Step 2: Choose the right safety signs and labels
Once you have identified all the hazards, you can now determine which safety signs are best suited for your needs. There are ready made safety signs and labels available on the market, or you can design your own. But whatever safety sign you choose, make sure that they comply with Canadian safety regulations, remembering to keep the sign format consistent all throughout the facility.
Step 3: Use proper wording
Sign wording should be easily read and concise. It should contain sufficient information so it can be easily understood. Also, the safety sign wording should be factual and in the positive context to encourage the reader to abide by the message.
Step 4: Position signs carefully
You should strategically post your safety signs so that they are visible and legible from a distance. Positioning them in an area that draws maximum attention to the hazard is ideal. Keep in mind that you may need to relocate signs from time to time when you make alterations that affect the visibility or usefulness of existing signs.
Step 5: Mark all safety and fire protection equipment
You need to ensure that all safely equipment such as eyewash stations and showers are clearly marked with the corresponding safety signs. Make sure all fire equipment is identified with the appropriate signs to make the equipment easy to locate in the event of a fire or disaster.
Step 6: Use safety labels properly and effectively
Safety labels provide an effective means to prevent accidental injury or illness to workers who are exposed to work hazards. It informs the reader of the material or equipment’s hazard status. A safety label’s wording must be legible at a minimum of 5 feet away and must contain information on the potential risks of the equipment or area that are tagged.
Step 7: Review your safety sign and label program whenever there are new work hazards present
For your facility to be truly compliant, you must always keep your safety program up-to-date. You need to review your sign and label program frequently to make sure that it is still applicable to the present conditions of your workplace.
For example, if there are new potential hazards in the facility, new safety signs and labels must be put up immediately. For temporary hazards, labels need to be attached to the hazard to warn employees until such hazard is gone.
No matter the circumstances or situation, a strong safety sign program enhances overall performance of an organization – leading to reduced costs, higher productivity, and employee pride. So it only makes for good business sense to invest in the appropriate safety signs and safety labels for your facility. But to make your safety program truly successful, employers and staff alike must be proactive in ensuring these safety signs are being followed to the letter. Always remember that in the workplace, everyone must do their part to ensure each other’s safety.
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