When it comes to things like workplace safety signs, it can be hard to find a locally-based supplier – it seems like all the safety sign manufacturers are based overseas.
If you ask us however, all of us should be making an effort to purchase as much as we can from Australian manufacturers!
And this is especially true when it comes to something as important as your workplace signs.
In fact, when it comes to anything safety-related, choosing a local manufacturer is always a better bet. And it isn’t just for signs, either.
But why is that? Why does manufacturer location matter?
1) Reduced delivery and lead times
Ever bought something online from eBay or Amazon, only to have to wait literally months for it to turn up on your front doorstep?
It’s annoying when it means you don’t have a gift in time for someone’s birthday – when it’s a vital part of the workplace safety equation like a safety sign however, it goes from an annoyance to a major problem!
And that can mean accidents, or a fine should WorkSafe decide to perform a snap inspection and notice you don’t have the right workplace health and safety signs.
Unfortunately, buying from overseas can often mean long waiting times and slow deliveries, leaving you without proper signage cover – one of the disadvantages of living so far away from the rest of the world.
By virtue of being locally-based, an Australian manufacturer can get you your signs much quicker, helping you get back to business. At Signsmart for example, we endeavour to get all your signs to you within just a few business days, including custom-made safety signs.
And that means you can get back to work without having to worry about being hit with a potential fine!
2) Understanding of Australian WHS regulations
While international standardisation and harmonisation mean that our workplace safety signs are increasingly similar to those found elsewhere, that doesn’t mean that signs sourced from overseas are always going to be the right ones.
This is especially important when it comes to hazchem signage.
There are a range of different systems in use around the world for hazardous and dangerous goods. Hazchem is only recognised in the Commonwealth – other countries have their own systems, like NFPA 704 in North America, or ADR in the EU..
Why does this matter? Simple: hazchem guidelines are very strict when it comes to things like…
- Minimum sizes
- Text size
Your signs need to follow these guidelines outlined in our OHS laws.
Buy a sign overseas, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll meet the strict standards that govern hazchem signs in Australia.
While they may get close, there’s no guarantee signs bought from overseas will be fully compliant – as such, it’s safer to stick to a local manufacturer who knows what regulations your signs need to follow.
3) Better customer service
Deal with an overseas provider, and you might find the service you receive suffering as a result of:
- Language and cultural barriers
- Time zone differences which can affect response times
- Differences in business culture
Just to be clear, not all overseas signmakers suffer from these issues – the problem is that it can be hard to find someone who ticks the right boxes without putting your customer experience on the line.
By contrast, when you deal with an Australian business, you know what you’re getting into.
This is especially important if you need a custom safety sign. Getting something unique for your business requires a lot more back-and-forth, as well as collaboration and communication.
Thanks to the problems listed above, you’re probably best off getting in touch with a local if you’re in the market for a custom safety sign.
4) And finally, you’re supporting the local economy!
And of course, by buying Aussie-made, you’re supporting the Aussie economy. It’s as simple as that!
Your money will:
- Go into the pockets of local workers
- Help Aussie businesses keep the lights on
- Ensure Australian employers continue operating and providing local jobs
Aussie manufacturing is doing it tough, so every single dollar can make a difference!
How do you make sure your signs are actually local?
So, there you have it. Simple, right?
Unfortunately, things aren’t that straightforward – while there are a lot of Australian-owned and operated places that offer workplace health and safety signs, not all of them offer signs that are made here.
Instead, a lot of them simply stock signs that they themselves have sourced from overseas!
How do you make sure that your money is staying here, and not flowing overseas?
Luckily, there are a couple of ways to get around this:
- Check the product description – stores will be happy to let you know that they stock a locally-made product
- Buy straight from the manufacturer – cut out the middleman completely
- Avoid eBay and Amazon – the odds of finding an Australian-made product there are basically zero
- If you have time, just ask them upfront – fire off an email or make a quick call
Buy Australian-made WHS signs with Signsmart
If you want to support the local economy and get signs that ensure you’re fully-compliant with Australian WHS laws, Signsmart is the place for you.
All of our signs are made right here in our workshop in Footscray, Melbourne, and can be delivered nation-wide.
With a range of signs that cover all types of workplace hazards – as well as the ability to print custom safety designs that match your exact needs – our team has your signage needs covered.
You can also visit us for custom safety signs in Australia: pop into our headquarters at 122 Whitehall Street, Footscray, VIC 3011, if you prefer a more hands-on approach.