We’ve talked about the “why” of workplace safety signs time and time again. We’ve talked about the “what” a couple of times.
But we’ve never discussed the “where” before.
This is a major oversight – one that we intend to fix right here and now!
In addition to ensuring that they aren’t obscured, that also means ensuring that they’re set up in the right locations for maximum visibility and effectiveness.
Where should you place your workplace safety signs?
Tip 1: set up hazchem signs at your front entrance
Naturally, you’ll want signs covering the areas of your workplace where the hazard or danger in question is most likely to happen.
Say you have a piece of machinery that can maim. Naturally, you’ll want to ensure that the signs for this machine are near the machine itself, and not in, say, the break room.
Of course, it’s more complex than that – do you have signs at your front entrance.
In addition to the entry points of storage areas and on cabinets and containers themselves, you’ll also want to set up hazchem signs, placards and labels:
- At the main entry to the structure where hazardous chemicals are being stored
- Fences (for fenced-off storage areas)
- Directly adjacent or on outdoor storage tanks and containers
Hazchem signs specifically should be placed in a highly-visible spot near the front entrance of your site. In addition to informing visitors before arriving on-site, it can also help emergency services respond.
If all your signs are inside (and no-one can remember off the top of their heads), emergency services won’t know what they’re dealing with – a dangerous situation indeed.
With a sign right by the front entrance however, they’ll be able to do their jobs safely and effectively!
Tip 2: make sure your signs are separate from other signs
The last thing you want is one of your workplace safety signs (and therefore, its message) being mistaken for a completely different sign or notice.
This is especially important when it comes to hazardous chemicals.
One way to avoid this is by setting up your signs separately from each other to minimise confusion and ensure that each sign is visible on its own. Leave a bit of space between each sign, especially if the signs are completely unrelated and communicate different messages.
The exception are those cases where you’ll have to use several signs together to communicate a safety message. For example, hazchem signs, EIPs, GHS signs and class diamonds are often used in conjunction when chemicals are involved.
For signs that communicate a similar message or warn against a specific danger, you’ll want to group them together to ensure the message gets through.
Tip 3: ensure signs, labels or tags don’t create a hazard – set your signs up in a safe spot
Workplace safety signs are supposed to help prevent an accident – in some instances however, they may be the CAUSE of an incident or hazard!
Workplace safety signs such as hazchem signs and emergency information panels can cause incidents such as cuts, scrapes and impacts when they’re set up too low, or impede passageways.
To avoid your emergency safety signs causing an accident rather than preventing on, you’ll want to ensure that your workplace safety signs:
- Are mounted high up, away from workers’ heads
- Don’t stick out and cause impacts
- Are securely mounted, reducing the risk of falling
That isn’t the only way poor sign location can create a hazard, however – it’s also important to ensure that you don’t obscure other equally important signs.
In many cases, you may need multiple workplace safety signs to communicate a hazard. For example, hazchem signs and GHS labels often go hand-in-hand.
Ensure all these complementary signs are visible by eliminating overlap, and ensuring that ALL of your signs are visible.
Tip 4: think about visibility
Poorly-placed aren’t the only way, you could end up obscuring an important workplace safety sign – if you place your signs in a bad location, you could also impair visibility.
And that could directly lead to accidents!
Some common incidents include:
- Setting up signs in areas where stock quickly piles up
- Putting signs around corners, where they can’t be seen
- Installing signs too high or too low
- Choosing signs that are too small to read from a reasonable distance
When choosing a place to set up workplace safety signs, you’ll want to think about lines of sight. In particular, choose locations where you can make out the sign from a safe distance as you approach the “danger zone” for the hazard or area in question.
It’s also important that you avoid putting them in areas where they might be obscured. And we aren’t just talking about inventory, either.
If the sightlines between you and your sign are frequently filled with foot traffic, you may want to mount them a little higher, just above head level to ensure that they’re still visible.
Finally, our team of signage specialists can recommend sign sizes to ensure that the dangers are communicated, no matter how far from the hazard or danger someone may be standing.
Keeping your workplace safe
At Signsmart, we believe that safety should be proactive. While it’s important that you have proper response procedures in place, it’s just as important that you take preventative measures.
And that includes workplace safety signage.
Your signs need to be carefully placed to ensure maximum visibility, no matter where you’re standing.
Unsure where your signs should go? Having a tough time figuring out how big they should be? Don’t know what sign(s) your workplace needs?
Our team can help!
On top of offering quick turnaround and rapid delivery, Signsmart can also help businesses like yours understand their signage requirements when it comes to hazardous chemicals and substances.
If you’re confused, we’ll walk you through your signage requirements. We’ll even create a custom safety sign if needed!
Find out how we can help you – for better signs and a safer workplace, give our team a call today on (03) 9687 3050.