Workplace compliance to health and safety standards is a MUST in every business.
Lives can be put at risk should you fail to comply with these workplace safety rules and regulations. Not only that, but there’s also the reputational damage, fines and lawsuits that may arise if you’re found to have failed to meet these rules.
That means every single part of the safety equation needs to be compliant – we’re talking everything including your:
- Emergency procedures
- Evacuation plans
- PPE rules
- First aid and fire response
And of course, it also covers basic things such as dangerous goods signs.
When we talk about compliance in the context of workplace safety signs, we don’t just mean the fact that you need signs – these laws are very strict on exactly what these signs need to look like, what they’re made of, and exactly where they’re placed as well!
It’s a lot to keep track of – luckily, we’re here to help with that.
So, what are the elements of a fully-compliant safety sign?
What criteria does a danger sign have to meet?
What colour is a warning or safety sign?
One of the many things that Australian OHS laws dictate when it comes to signage is colour.
Certain types of hazard (and therefore, the accompanying signs) need to be represented by very specific colours and patterns. After all, the colour is the first thing you’re going to notice when you look at a sign.
So, what is a danger sign required to use colour-wise?
- Red: danger signs will always be RED. You’ll usually see this colour next to emergency buttons, fire equipment and other immediate dangers
- Green: this colour will always be associated with life and well-being, which is why it is generally used in first aid signs and signs for other safety equipment
- Yellow: shades of yellow are easy to be seen, and tend to denote areas that require heightened alertness and precaution
- Blue: is used for mandatory signs in Australia, giving instructions and informing people of what they MUST do or wear
These are just a couple of the colour requirements set out under Australian law – if your signs don’t follow these guidelines, then they aren’t up-to-code!
Language and font: what written messages must be on a safety sign?
It isn’t just the colours that are tightly regulated – your use and choice of language and phrasing are extremely important when talking about safety signages.
A clear, simple and straight to the point word must be used in order for people to easily understand and interpret the information your sign is communicating.
Sans serif fonts are ideal to use and easy to read – they are visually simple and easy to read, making them ideal choices for your signage requirements.
Luckily, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about if you buy your signs from a reputable manufacturer instead – we understand these requirements, and will use an appropriate font, all while ensuring the wording is appropriate.
Putting your safety signages in their right location is a must for any business and industry.
After all, what good is a sign if it’s hung up in a place where nobody can see it?
It is necessary to make sure that your workplace signs are put in the right place – that’s to say, a spot where it’s easily visible to everyone.
That means thinking about things like:
- Potential obstructions
- Lighting conditions
Each of these can impact how well your signs can be seen, and therefore reduce their effectiveness.
Of course, this isn’t the only thing you’ll want to think of when looking at locations – have you thought about the exact spots you’re going to choose?
When placing signs, you need to ensure you choose locations where people will be able to connect the message to the danger. For instance, a fire extinguisher sign needs to be placed near a fire extinguisher, otherwise what’s the point?
On top of that however, Australian Standards also have some other location requirements. For instance, in addition to storage areas themselves, danger chemical storage area signs need to be placed at your workplace entry as well to ensure that people know that these are being stored and used on-site.
What are safety sign and symbol sizing requirements?
While most safety signs aren’t exactly text-heavy, they do feature text. And the thing with text is that given enough distance, they can be a little hard to read.
If you want to emphasise readability and clarity of your signs, you need to think about whether or not the sign is still legible from where your team is going to be standing.
And that means thinking about distance.
Australian Standard AS1319 dictates the size of text as well as pictograms depending on the most likely viewing distance and lighting conditions. For more information, click here to read up on some of this Standard’s recommendations – as a general rule of thumb however…
- Pictograms should scale up by a minimum of 15mm per metre of distance
- Upper-case text should scale by 5mm per metre
- Lower-case should scale by 4mm per metre of distance
This Standard also sets out minimum sizes for a number of given viewing distances – for example, 300mm x 225mm is recommended for distances of 12 metres from a standing position.
Even in something as relatively straightforward as signage, businesses must adhere to the law to minimise any risks of accidents, injuries, and even death. These mandatory requirements ensure that your dangerous goods signs are doing their job, and that your workplace is covered.
Luckily for you, our range of safety signs encompasses a range of different sizes and options to ensure you meet your legal requirements for sizing.
And if you can’t find what you need, we’re more than happy to create custom site safety signs to meet your unique requirements!
Get all the signs you need (and more!)
Call Signsmart to help your business today
Health and safety are essential for every business and employees. Mandatory signs are, well, mandatory in any workplace.
We don’t just stock all the mandatory signs, hazchem signs and emergency information panels you need to stay safe – our sign experts are also intimately familiar with hazchem signage requirements, and help all kinds of businesses and industries keep up with the industry standards for health and safety.
Whether it’s questions about biological hazard signs in Australia or mandatory signage sizes, our team is ready to bring our intimate understanding of signage laws and requirements to bear in order to keep you safe.
All of our signs are already fully-compliant – for example, we’ve recently updated all of our GHS signs to keep up with the transition to the new GHS 7 standard.
Find out what mandatory signs suit your business or even customise your signs to meet all of your health and safety standards – call Signsmart on (03) 9687 3050 or fill in the form to request a quote from us today.