If you need guidance with workplace safety signs, Signsmart can help!
We’re here to keep you and your workplace as safe as possible, so explore our top tips below.
In this blog post, you will discover all the signs you need in your workplace as well as understand where they need to be positioned to ensure they are easily identifiable and communicate as well as possible.
What are the rules, regulations, and guidelines of workplace signage?
We always advise checking both the local laws for your location, council requirements, and the Australian safety standards relevant to your industry to make sure you’re carefully considering all the potential risks you need to safeguard your staff, employees, visitors and customers.
Workplace signage, including emergency exit and danger warning signs, are a key part of your work health and safety requirements.
Your safety officer may also decide to add additional signage to ensure your staff and customers are as safe as possible. Consider if there are hazardous materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed?
One of the best places to start with your signage compliance is the Australian Standard AS 1319-1994, which sets out all the requirements for workplace signage in Australia, including the design and use of safety signs intended for use in a work environment.
The general aim of this standard is to regulate and control safety related behaviour across industries and prevent accidents and injuries to the workforce.
The AS1319-1994 does not specify a required material or size for safety signs but it does explain you need a sign suitable for the intended application, and that employees are aware of them and understand their purpose.
Where are the most important places to ensure you have signage?
Employers need to ensure signs are not obscured or hidden in an unsuitable area. So where’s the best place to put your safety signs?
- Make sure signs are in a well-lit area and mounted in a reasonably prominent position
- It is recommended that any symbols be at least 15mm per metre of viewing distance
- Uppercase text should be at least 5mm per metre of viewing distance
- Remember, size should be increased by at least 50% in poor lighting or viewing conditions
Where possible, safety signs should be mounted close to the observer’s line of sign and vertical plane.
As a general rule of thumb, safety signs need to be placed against a contrasting background, so they’re easily spotted and can be read from a reasonable distance.
Prevention and prohibition signs
Prohibition signs are there to let people know what not to do.
They are usually required at entry points and it may be suitable to repeat the signage throughout the designated area. A common example of this could be no smoking signs outside a shopping centre or airport.
Mandatory signage gives clear instructions for what to do. The instructional signage helps ensure your workforce is as safe as possible.
Make sure your mandatory signage is clearly displayed in the area where there is the biggest potential risk for injury, for example near machinery and hazardous materials.
Other mandatory signs, such as the requirement for employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, safety boots, and goggles, should be clearly visible either at the entry point (for example, when a contractor enters a construction site) or at the location in which certain activity is taking place (e.g. where dangerous chemicals are handled).
Warning signs and danger signs
Warning and danger signs are possibly the most important signage in your workplace. They are there as an extreme warning to risk of life or injury.
They need to be large, clear, and brightly coloured in a suitable location near or on the hazard.
They should clearly highlight the potential hazard – like chemical storage and any PPE needed.
When it comes to life-threatening risks and highlighting this plainly and clearly for your staff or customers, warning and danger signs are non-negotiable.
If there’s an emergency, staff, customers, and any other individuals on your site should be able to clearly identify exits to quickly make their way out of the building without obstruction.
Fire signs guide a clear pathway for people to safely exit the building. It is the law that exit signs are placed both above exits that lead out of the building.
Fire signs need to be illuminated with lights independent from the mains of the building (in case there is a loss of power and the building is dark these lights should operate independently). Explore our collection of emergency and danger signs.
Fire Safety Signs
Flammable and fire safety signs highlight fire exits, alarms, and fire-fighting equipment, for example fire extinguishers or fire blankets.
Fire signs need to be visible and placed in high-risk fire areas like kitchens, while fire exit signs need to be above each doorway and at the entrance and exits. They are also commonly found in corridors to quickly inform a user of their proximity.
Flammable signs are a type of dangerous goods label that instantly convey flammable gases and liquids. These diamond-shaped signs are available in multiple sizes usually brightly coloured and have clear text that details the type of material. Explore dangerous goods labels here.
What colour should you choose for a specific safety sign?
You will have noticed that different categories of signs tend to follow a similar colour scheme. This generally universal approach ensures that safety signs are instantly recognised and that the type of sign depicted is clear to a user.
- Prohibition signs are red, and they prohibit certain behaviours
- Caution signs are yellow and draw attention to a particular hazard or danger in a certain area, instructing users to take extra care
- Mandatory signs are blue and instruct users to follow specific rules, for example the wearing of face masks
- Emergency signs are green and alert users to an action or a piece of equipment, such as an emergency phone
Shop safety signs in Australia with Signsmart
Explore our signage collection, with the proper safety signage in your workplace, you’ll prevent accidents and injuries. Keep your staff safe from potential hazards at work and ensure you’re compliant with Australian safety requirements.
Explore our range of safety signs or get in touch with us today if you’d like to discuss custom made signs.