Work Health and Safety or WHS are the regulations and requirements in Australia that managers need to establish to uphold a healthy and safe workplace.
There are many precautions businesses can take to comply with WHS standards, such as consistently monitoring risks and hazards, reporting incidents, and having the right signage in place to prevent accidents.
Safety signs can minimise risks by informing workers of what, and what not to do.
Shop safety signs online and discover the full range of safety, hazard, and warning signs available now from Signsmart.
What is WHS?
The term Work Health and Safety is slowly replacing Occupational Health and Safety in Australia, in terms of the regulations and policies in place to protect workers.
This is because in 2012, the Australian Government introduced new work standards into the Work and Health Safety Act, 2011.
Prior to this, each state had their own standards and regulations, generally referred to as Occupational Health and Safety standards or OH&S Standards.
WHS provides universal, consistent, safety coverage across all Australian employees to ensure every workplace is working towards the utmost safety standards.
What is outlined in the Work and Health Safety Act, 2011?
The Work and Health Safety Act, 2011, helps workers and employers maintain a safe and healthy workplace. It outlines ways to:
- Protect workers, managers, visitors, and contractors from hazards by reducing risks
- Provide training and induction to WHS
- Encourage unions and employer organisations to promote WHS practices
- Be compliant with the Act through effective and appropriate enforcement measures such as mounting hazchem safety signs where needed
- Ensure you have an appropriate WHS management system in place
- Maintain WHS laws and regulations
What signs are required by WHS?
There are a number of signs that can help you comply with WHS standards because they are an indicator of when practices need to be done and when to avoid certain items, tasks, or ways of doing things.
Hazchem signs in Melbourne tell staff and visitors that hazardous chemicals are close by; as you’d expect, these signs are critical in maintaining safety in your workplace.
These are some other signs you might need depending on your workplace:
Safety signs can either be mandatory, emergency, cautionary, or indicative to danger.
Safety signs commonly used in workplaces indicate things like:
- PPE equipment requirements when handling certain goods or for certain rooms
- Social distancing measures
- Dangerous or toxic goods and materials
- If a container stores dangerous goods
- Prohibited entry, access, or behaviour
- Safety devices such as first aid kits or fire extinguishers
Fire signs include signs that inform you of fire exits, direct you to fire equipment, and tell you information about fire extinguishers.
The luminous “Exit” signs that are found in shopping centres, offices, warehouses, and schools alert people to the closest exit in the event of an emergency such as a fire.
Other signage can be used to identify tools and devices such as hose reels, fire doors, and fire blankets.
Emergency Information Panels
Emergency Information Panels in Melbourne (also known as EIPs for short) are signs on containers or trucks that tell a handler its contents, the unit number, the emergency contact, the hazard the substance can create, and the hazchem code.
There are strict laws in place that require you to have these panels so they can be recognised by a range of personnel who may come into contact, such as emergency services in the event of an accident.
To buy EIP signs browse Signsmart’s collection. Our EIPs are ready to ship now, or you can speak to us today for custom EIP signs that meet your specific requirements.
Traffic and Transport signs
Traffic and transport signs are common in business spaces such as warehouses and distribution centres, or anywhere else that sees a high volume of vehicles entering and exiting the premises.
Traffic signs, as you expect, are required to direct personnel in terms of:
- Where they can and cannot park or stand
- How fast to drive
- Which direction to drive in
- How they can safely enter or exit
- Clearance heights
- Pedestrian crossings
Our traffic and transport signs also include directions that are mounted directly onto vehicles, such as trucks or other oversized vehicles.
What makes a sign WHS compliant?
There are different formats and colour schemes that different signs need to have in order to be visible and universally recognised in an instant (and sometimes even before you read the text!)
Mandatory signs for example, are always blue and white; these are instantly recognisable as signs that direct a user to instructions that must be followed, protective gear to be worn, or other behaviour to be obeyed.
What criteria does a danger sign have to meet?
Danger signs are another type of panel that has strict formatting so to be recognised in an instant.
Danger signs are commonly made up of two design elements: the recognisable DANGER in white text on a red and black background, plus clear black text describing the particular instruction or hazard.
How can you make employees follow safety signs?
It all starts with clear and consistent communication supported by effective safety signage
Signsmart is a sign company based in Melbourne helping businesses all over Australia remain compliant.
We offer both consumable safety signs and also work closely with clients to create custom made safety signs that meet their unique business or safety needs.
Shop smart safety signs in Australia now.