“It’s just a sign”, you think to yourself, “I can just make my own, can’t I?”
With that thought in mind, you head down to your local Bunnings for a plank of wood and a paint tin, or start looking around for a sheet of cardboard.
It’s tempting to think of your workplace safety signs as just that: signs.
However, they’re much, much more!
So before you try your hand at DIY dangerous good signs and labels, hazchem signs and emergency information panels, we suggest reading this article to learn why that’s a bad idea, and why you should get professionally made ones instead!
A good sign is tough – a DIY sign isn’t
Let’s face it, factories and warehouses can be rough, dirty workplaces – conditions that aren’t very kind to homemade workplace safety signs!
You’ll have to contend with a range of environmental factors like dust, grime, humidity and more, all of which can wear down a DIY sign:
- Ink can fade over time
- Cardboard can rot
- Wood planks can become chipped and worn
Over time, this can make the sign illegible. Sure, by that point your workers will already know exactly what they’re dealing with… but what about new hires, visitors, drivers and couriers and other people who are on-site for the first time?
You need to make sure these first-time visitors know exactly what they’re walking into, and what they need to do if something goes wrong.
And good signage is crucial for that.
Sure, you could replace it once it starts to wear… but what happens if you forget?
Or worse, what if the lack of signage turns into a broken stair situation, where everyone gets so accustomed to working around the lack of signs that nobody ever thinks about replacing it?
It’s simply not worth the risk – if you ask us, the best way to avoid this is to ensure your workplace is kitted out with tough, durable dangerous goods signs and labels, EIPs and hazchem signs from the get-go.
Is your sign the right size?
Good signs are visible. Part of that is ensuring that it’s clear, with high contrast and possibly reflective surfaces that allow it to be seen regardless of conditions.
Another part of that is making sure it’s the right size!
Here’s an experiment. Find your nearest newspaper and tape it up to the wall. Now step back 20 metres. How much of it can you read?
If you squint, you might make out some vague letters: maybe something about a tax plan, or a picture that sort of looks like a person…
It isn’t easy – or very useful, for that matter.
It’s because of this that your workplace safety signs need to be sized appropriately. While the newspaper example is a bit extreme, it gets the point across!
You will need to ensure that your signs can be read and understood given the distances involved. If it’s a small area, you can get away with a smaller sign – if the sign needs to be seen from further away, you’ll need to scale up.
Again, you can make a bigger DIY sign if need be – for the best results however, we suggest talking to a professional sign maker for your workplace safety signs.
Will your signs pass an inspection?
With hazchem signs, emergency information panels and dangerous goods signs and labels in particular, your signs will need to adhere to very specific criteria.
For example, a typical hazchem sign will need to feature:
- The substance name
- The appropriate class diamond
- It’s UN number
- It’s Hazchem code
- Emergency contacts
- Contacts for specialist advice
Sure, you could do the research on your own and create the ultimate DIY safety sign. However, that can take hours of research figuring out what you need to do, as well as buying appropriate materials like paint and sheet metal.
Frankly, who has time for that?
As a site manager or foreman, you’ve already got enough on your plate. You shouldn’t have to add navigating hazchem standards and chemical transport laws to the pile.
The solution? Buy an off-the-shelf design instead and save yourself the time and effort!
Need hazchem signs, EIPs, dangerous goods signs and labels ASAP?
Get in touch with SignSmart today!
So DIY signage is out of the question – that leaves a professional sign maker.
Specifically, a signmaker who can get you the signs you need with minimal turnaround time – each day you spend without adequate signage cover increases the risk of an accident, or legal action if it’s discovered.
Thanks to our huge inventory of signs for all workplaces and hazards, we can rapidly dispatch signage to all over the country. In some cases, we can get your signs to you by the following day!
Need something custom made? Our team is more than willing to work with you for a tailor-made solution.