It isn’t enough for you to simply have safety signs on-site – you need to understand what each of your workplace safety signs is telling you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be very good at keeping you safe, would it?
Luckily for you, most signs are pretty easy to understand – they’re deliberately designed to be so.
Still, people are people, and are prone to making mistakes from time-to-time.
All the more reason you need to keep yourself sharp and to stay up-to-date with your signs and what they mean!
And to help with that, we’ve put together a short quiz to test your signage know-how.
Got a couple of minutes to kill? If so, why not give it a try?
What are health and safety sign colours, and why do they matter?
Simple: because Australian WHS require it!
Australia is part of many international schemes and treaties that aim to standardise safety signs throughout the world, ensuring that safety signs can be easily understood no matter where you are on the planet.
Schemes like Hazchem and the GHS set standards for signs, including:
- Text size
- Graphics and icons
And naturally, they also dictate what colours your signs need to be as well!
While Australian laws themselves don’t explicitly list the required colours, they do explicitly require you to follow these international systems.
And since these systems mandate certain colours and designs, that means that many of your signs are going to have to be specific colours!
What colour are health and safety signs?
Each type of sign is required to follow a standard design – that means words, icons and of course, colours.
Ideally, you should know exactly what type of hazard you’re dealing with just by looking at what shade the sign is.
Can you recognise signs based only on colours? There’s only one way to find out…
Question 1: red sign in morning, worker’s warning
Red: it just grabs attention, doesn’t it? Little wonder it can be found in many workplace safety signs.
But which ones? Is it…
Question 2: hello, yellow!
Another colour you’ll see on a lot of safety signs in Australia? Yellow.
Everytime you’re out on the road, you’ll be bombarded with all sorts of yellow traffic signs telling you what speed to stick to, upcoming road conditions and more.
But what about in the workplace?
In the workplace, yellow is used for…
Question 3: I’m blue, da ba dee da ba daa – what do blue safety signs mean?
Did you know? Blue is the world’s favourite colour – according to a worldwide survey spanning 10 countries and 4 continents, blue won by a landslide.
Little wonder it’s also a popular choice for workplace safety signs!
But which ones exactly?
Question 4: go green – what do green safety signs mean?
Green might not be the first colour that comes to mind when thinking about workplace safety signs. As such, you might have a little bit of difficulty figuring out the answer to this one!
- Emergency and safety signs
- Radiation signs
- Signs reminding you to recycle
- Exit signs
What colour are warning and safety signs? The answers
Question 1: all of them
If you answered with all of them, you’d be 100% correct!
(Okay, so danger signs are a bit of a cheat, since they use multiple colours – that said, the red “danger” oval is one of its most prominent features, so we feel like it counts!)
As a rule, red is reserved for the most immediate risks – that means anything fire-related, danger diamond signs, as well as to indicate danger and identify emergency stop buttons for machinery.
Question 2: B and D
In addition to traffic signs (option D), yellow is also used for caution signs.
These signs are all about alerting you and your team members to be cautious of a wide range of workplace hazards. In addition to machinery and chemical spills, these yellow signs can also be used to warn against hidden steps, slippery surfaces and more.
Question 3: C and D
When it comes to workplace safety signs, the colour blue is usually reserved for mandatory signs – that’s to say, signs that remind workers about:
- The rules they need to follow
- PPE they need to use
- Proper procedures when working
And that includes many of our range of COVID-19 signs – after all, things like social distancing are mandatory, so signs relating to COVID-safe practices are basically mandatory signs (even though there are no rules governing them).
Question 4: A and D
Emergency and safety signs are designed to ensure that staff know what to do in the event of an emergency. That means knowing evacuation routes, the locations of first aid stations, emergency chemical showers and more.
All of these use green signs.
And of course, there’s always exit signs!
Colours are just the beginning: how important are safety signs and getting them right?
It’s important that your signs are the right colours in order to comply with Australian WHS regulations – however, that isn’t the only requirement you’ll need to follow.
In addition to getting the right colours, it’s crucial that your signs are also…
Placed appropriately: where are safety signs needed?
Obviously, it’s important that signs are placed where they’re most needed. That means putting caution signs near machinery, or fire service signs near your fire extinguishers.
Of course, it’s also important that you consider things like:
Make sure you’ve got everything covered
Chemical storage? Tripping hazards? Machinery-related risks?
No potential hazard or issue is too big or small – no matter what it is, it’s crucial that it’s covered with an appropriate workplace safety sign.
Proper signs are key
While it’s tempting to just use a sheet of cardboard and write down a warning on top of it, the fact of the matter is that if you want to stay compliant and avoid a fine, you’ll want to make sure you get your signs done properly.
Not only that, but proper signs are also far more visible and way more durable than any hand-made signs you might throw together!
Get the signs you need with Signsmart
Our mission is simple: to keep you safe.
And signs are how we do that!
With a huge range of workplace safety signs, we can keep you save. We’ve got everything, from commonly used hazard signs and safety symbols all the way up to custom safety signs tailored to your organisation’s unique needs.
If you need help with hazardous chemicals specifically, you’ve come to the right place!
Our team are experts in hazchem signage – if you need, we’re willing to lend you our decades of experience in hazchem signage, helping you stay safe and compliant.
What are you waiting for? Click here to start shopping for safety signs.