Compliance with workplace health and safety signs is key to protecting your employees’ health, welfare, and safety.
Each business and workplace in Australia knows that work-related accidents and injuries can happen at any time. Whether you are in the manufacturing, warehouse, and logistics, clear and accessible safety signs are a must in maintaining a safe workplace.
While it may seem pretty basic and common-sense, the fact of the matter is that a lot of workplaces don’t realise that there are laws outlining what signs you need, and that these laws are surprisingly strict.
This is especially true for facilities that handle hazardous chemicals – these workplaces know that safety signs are all part of the OHS guidelines that present various hazards in the workplace.
Needless to say, safety signs aren’t just there for show!
And that brings us to today’s question…
What health and safety signs do I need at work, and where are safety signs needed?
Different industries and businesses would need specific health and safety signs like warehouse signs in their workplace.
One thing that isn’t any different is the importance of these signs!
The right information on safety signs helps businesses stay compliant with OHS law, and can help protect them against liability for unsafe work practices.
So how do you know what health and safety signs Australia’s OHS laws require?
Do a quick visual inspection of your workplace
To know the specific safety signages that you need at your workplace, you will need to perform an ocular inspection to see:
- What signs you have
- Which signs you don’t have
- The biggest risks in the workplace
When doing your inspection, be sure to note any areas that are missing important signage or have outdated safety signs that need to be updated.
After all, the first step in procuring workplace health and safety signs like overhead warehouse signs is to find out which ones you don’t currently have, and where to place them!
Assess what signs should be used at the worksite
Workplaces involving hazardous chemicals, high voltages, high-powered machinery, and restricted areas will have their own dedicated signs – it’s up to you to order them.
That means taking stock of all the risks, as well as what signs you’re required by law to hang up.
Can’t find what you’re looking for in the catalogue? Luckily for you, our online sign shop also offers custom site safety signs that ensure the message is getting across!
Identify the type of safety signs mandated by the Australian law
To know the specific safety signs to use in your workplace, you also need to identify the type of signs mandated by Australian law.
The main workplace health and safety law in Victoria, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act), ensures that employers look after everyone’s health and safety. And not just for employees, but the public as well.
It’s important to remember that hazardous chemicals and substances come with their own specific regulations outlining what signs are needed in storage, transport and more.
This is governed by the Hazchem scheme.
If you want to stay compliant, you’ll need to ensure that you’re fully up-to-speed with both of these regulations – luckily, that’s something our team can help you out with.
What are the 4 types of safety signs?
While we’ve been focusing on hazchem signs in particular, there are a couple of types of safety signs mandated by the OHS law in Australia in every single workplace, no matter what it is that you do or deal with.
As such, you will need to prioritise these signs in the workplace!
No matter what it is that you do, these signs are, well, mandatory!
PPE and safety procedures are a staple of any business, big or small, and must be followed in order to keep everyone safe – as such, signs that identify these mandatory steps are a key part of your signage equation.
What is a mandatory fire sign?
Fire can strike every workplace, no matter what it does.
As such, fire signs are essential!
Whether it’s identifying fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire exits, and other fire equipment, these signs with their red background, white text and image are essential at every single workplace in Australia.
Danger and warning signs
“Danger” can take many forms: while places that store hazardous chemicals need to deal with chemical burns and the like, there are other dangers that are present regardless of the worksite, such as hard-to-see steps or electrical equipment.
Keeping people safe against these risks requires signs to warn them against the danger.
Thankfully, our huge range of premade workplace safety signs such as wet floor signs and restricted area signs already covers the vast majority of common dangers you’ll find in the workplace, helping you keep your team safe.
Maybe it’s specific substances that don’t react well with the materials you use. Perhaps you want to ban distractions. It could be part of your legal requirement to prohibit smoking indoors.
Whatever the case, every workplace features prohibition signs in some capacity.
Like the name suggests, prohibition signs are signs that prohibit people from doing something, and are used to enforce rules in the workplace.
What is the safety colour code?
Thanks to all the different schemes that dictate what signs look like, workplace safety signs in Australia use set designs, images and of course, colors.
It’s this standardisation that allows signs to be easily recognised and understood by all!
Some of these colours are:
- Red – Danger, Fire protection, Emergency stops and alarms
- Orange – Risks of injuries
- Yellow – Caution
- Green – First Aid, Safety equipment
- Blue – Mandatory signs
When it comes to hazardous substances specifically, the Hazchem scheme requires that specific hazards and risks get their own unique colour combos – click here to find out what colours hazchem signs need to be.
What colour is a general warning sign?
General warning signs are usually in yellow, just like in caution and traffic signs. If you’re unsure what colour your signs should be (and they don’t fall into one of the categories listed above), yellow is a safe bet.
Looking for safety signs for your workplace?
Let Signsmart help you!
Whether you’re just starting your business up or re-evaluating your current safety processes and rules, when your employees’ health and wellbeing is on the line, safety should be your top priority.
Signsmart knows exactly what you need when it comes to signs.
Talk to us about your signage requirements and we’ll do the rest for you, including creating custom-made safety signs for your workplace.
We’ll help you figure out what you’re looking for and deliver high-quality safety signs made especially for you. Signsmart caters to all of your special requests, and we tweak your design to match what you are looking for perfectly.