In addition to OSHA requirements (29 CFR 1910.145), there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to your company’s safety signage. Wording should be brief and easy to read and understand, and it should make a positive statement. Here are five tips to help your signage be as effective as possible:
1. TrainingYou’re probably required to conduct training to ensure that workers understand the various types and meanings of signs in your facility. The best time to train is during new-hire safety orientation or annual safety refreshers. Show every type of sign, tag and label used in your facility. Provide an explanation of each one’s purpose and meaning. Employees should know what to do when they encounter specific signs, labels or tags.
Take special care to fully demonstrate hazard communications, such as chemical safety labeling programs.
Showing and explaining safety signs and meanings in company newsletters and on employee bulletin boards will help improve awareness.
2. PlacementPlace hazard signs as close to the corresponding hazard as possible. You want to create a definite link between the message and the hazard. For example, in a plant maintenance shop, each bench-mounted tool should have hazard signs posted nearby emphasizing the use of eye protection and any other hazard precaution applicable to the specific tool.
Be aware that placing a group of hazard signs on a door, entryway or wall leads to confusion.