Properly storing and handling dangerous goods and substances is a crucial part of Australian workplace safety and health standards. After all, you’re dealing with items that pose a tangible risk to the health, security, lives and property of everyone around!
Health and safety are two of the most important things that businesses should always keep in mind 24/7 – that means paying close attention to how workplace hazards are managed to prevent accidents, injuries, and more.
And that starts at the ground level, with workplace safety signs.
Dangerous goods signs may be simple, but they’re one of the most effective ways to ensure that dangerous goods are properly handled, stored and transported safely.
It’s also an area which is surprisingly tightly regulated – Australian laws are very strict about dangerous goods signs and meanings.
Luckily, Signsmart can help you determine the right signage to use. Your trusted sign experts have extensive knowledge of hazchem signage, and can help you comply with Australian regarding the shipping, transporting and handling of dangerous goods.
Why is safety signage important at the workplace?
Attend any workplace, and you’ll see safety signs everywhere. They’re basically part of the scenery.
There’s a very good reason that signs are a staple at workplaces of all shapes and sizes – they’re the best way to succinctly and quickly communicate a hazard or policy to the people on the ground floor.
A floor meeting can take ages, and nobody has time for that. Not to mention, you need to think about guests too – will you give them the full safety brief when they turn up? What if they forget a certain detail?
Not only that, but in many cases, they’re also legally required. To forgo signage isn’t just very dangerous, but can be straight-up illegal as well.
And this is where safety signage come in.
They’re quick – one glance is all it takes. They also serve as reminders throughout the day, drilling in safety messages and reminding staff of where things like fire extinguishers or first aid kits are kept.
What’s more, they also provide a constant reminder of proper procedure until it’s memorised, helping avoid accidents, illnesses or worse. Make no mistake, the use of safety signs is absolutely crucial!
What are the easiest ways to identify dangerous goods? With a sign, of course!
While a safety briefing might be more in-depth, it takes time – luckily, a good sign can get the message across in a fraction of the time.
A simple word or phrase combined with a carefully selected pictogram or image helps get the message across and ensures that hazards are communicated quickly and efficiently.
After all, your team:
Won’t have time to flip through an entire manual in the event of a spill or other emergency
Might ignore a denser, more information-heavy sign
Australian standards ensure that signs are punchy, attention-grabbing and that they can’t be missed, ensuring that dangerous goods and the associated hazards are immediately recognisable.
Not just that, but they also ensure that workers are continuously reminded of what instructions they need to follow, and that your team knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
How can a dangerous good be identified? How signs warns staff about the hazardous composition of substances
Health and safety hazard warning signs help tell workers how to safely handle these dangerous goods or hazardous materials and avoid getting poisoned, burned, or exposed to worse.
The right signs can help identify and classify dangerous goods, including:
- Toxic gas
- Flammable solid
- Toxic gas
Workplace safety signs use a variety of different schemes and systems to immediately communicate not just the properties of a dangerous substance, but PPE requirements and appropriate spill response as well.
Hazchem codes and UN identification numbers that can help categorise goods as well as help identify them – something that’s incredibly important if you ship to or receive deliveries from overseas!
Lastly, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) ensures that whichever workplace you go to, hazardous goods and chemicals are identified using the same consistent icons and pictograms.
Complies with legal workplace standards
The Australian government strictly enforces occupational health and safety laws to protect workers, the general public and the environment at large.
Such legal workplace standards address the need for manufacturers, logistics, and workers to observe Victoria’s occupational health and safety legislation when it comes to safely storing and handling dangerous goods and substances. Workplaces like yours will need to adheres to the following regulations:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act) 2004
- Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS Regulations) 2017
- Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012
As part of that, workplaces like yours need to meet certain requirements for workplace safety signs. And not just the types of signs either, but also their sizes, locations and more.
Fail to use appropriate signage, and you might find yourself being hit with a fine, or in the event of an accident, the subject of legal action if it can be proven that the lack of signage contributed!
Whether it’s a premade or custom site safety sign, workplaces need to adhere to all of the rules and regulations set by the government as part of their OHS obligations.
Just another reason you need to get the right signs for your workplace!
Why is it important for personnel who handle dangerous goods to undergo regular training? And how do signs tie into things?
Dangerous goods require specialist training. After all, your team needs to know what to do in the event of a spill – that’s the only way to ensure that:
- Everyone dons the right PPE in the event of a spill or leak
- Spills are disposed of safely
- Evacuation procedures are adhered to
- An appropriate first-aid response is carried out
Good training is the key to this, ensuring that your team is able to respond quickly and safely.
So, what do signs have to do with it?
Simple: signs serve as a reminder, ensuring that emergency policies are known throughout your workplace.
Be it fire service signs, first-aid signs, escape signs or any other type of sign, good signage helps ensure that your team knows what to do when an accident or emergency happens, and can help remind them of their training.
Need dangerous goods signage? Keep everyone safe with the help of Signsmart!
Make everyone’s health and safety a top priority by updating your signage – and while you’re here, get in touch with the Signsmart to ensure that you’re getting the right signage solution!
In addition to carrying a truly mind-boggling range of signs, we’re also able to help by ensuring that your signage is compliant with Australian laws. As specialists in hazchem signage, we can tell you whether your signs are up-to-code, and help ensure your signage obligations are covered.
We deliver nation-wide, helping keep businesses all over the country safe. Whether you need EIP signage in Melbourne or hazchem signs in Adelaide, our team can get your signs to you quickly, with industry-leading turnaround times and same-day dispatch.
If you’re also looking for dangerous goods signs or any other type of workplace signage, then you can trust in our team’s ability to help you!