You’ve identified what signs you should use for your business. This is an important first step – but the work isn’t done just yet.
The next thing you need to do? Find the right place to put these safety signages!
You may think that as long as it is seen and read by many, that’s already enough. However, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of nuances when it comes to workplace safety sign locations.
Of course, no two workplaces and business are the same, and it can be quite challenging to identify where these safety signs should be placed depending on the nature of the work areas and all the business risks.
That’s we’re revisiting the subject, only this time with a focus on safety signs in general, and not just on hazchem and EIP signs!
Where are safety signs needed?
Anywhere there’s a danger, that’s where!
… alright, so it’s not quite that simple.
Putting your safety signs in their right location is a must for any business and industry, especially if you want to prioritise safety and minimise any risk. The “where” needs to precede the why and how – so, how do you choose a spot?
Rule #1: Make it visible
When looking for the right location for your safety signage, visibility is the number one rule – after all, what good is a sign you can’t see?
Always remember that the effectiveness of your workplace signs depends heavily on their placement and the message involved. That doesn’t just mean finding a spot where you can see your signs – it’s just as important that you consider things like:
- Lighting conditions
- Viewing distances
Each of these can affect visibility, so you’ll want to take each into account when choosing a place to hang your safety signs up.
Not only that, but it’s also worth thinking about where people will be when they see your signs. Are your signs at eye level? Can they see them while they’re at work? These are things you’ll need to think of as well!
Rule #2: put your signs in a safe spot
You might not realise it instantly, but the place you choose for your premade and custom site safety signs may also cause hazards and danger themselves when you choose the wrong location to hang them up.
If you can, try to avoid placing signs in low areas or places where they might pose a risk of injury or even impede people’s movement and activities.
Ensure that your signs and labels are placed in a safe spot, high enough that they won’t be knocked down or cause head injuries and other types of minor accidents.
Rule #3: think about quality
You might not think of this as being directly related to sign location – take our word for it however, it’s definitely something you’ll want to think of!
While you’ll want to avoid it, sometimes you just need to put signs up in places where they’re exposed to dust and all sorts of other issues. For example, machinery signage needs to go up near the machinery in question, which can in turn lead to issues with fouling and other problems.
This can cause issues with signs such as accelerated wear-and-tear – the only way around this is to be very picky when it comes to materials.
Rule #4: choose somewhere a sign can stay permanently
Warning signs in Australia should ideally be permanent – once it’s placed there, it shouldn’t need to be moved.
Since these signs are permanent fixtures, it’s important that you choose a spot that won’t require your signs to be moved down the line. When choosing a spot, be sure to think about things such as:
- Future expansion, and how your space will accommodate it
- Current space usage
- Whether sign locations will be needed for other equipment
For example, say you choose a spot that’s earmarked for a new piece of equipment in the near future – while it may work for now, you’ll still need to move your signs later.
Better to avoid this altogether by choosing the right spot to begin with!
Rule #5: identify the most likely hazards, and where they’re most likely to happen
Before putting your safety signages, you need to identify where accidents, spills and other hazards are most likely to pop up!
Areas such as doors, windows, exits, fences, machinery and even outdoor tanks and containers often present the highest risk – and as such, they should be your first priority when it comes to safety signs.
Let’s use electrical safety as an example. Electricity is dangerous, everybody knows that – so you’re going to need to put labels and safety signs up in or around areas where electricity and electrical appliances are present and where the danger is highest.
Repeat this for all the most likely hazards around your workplace, and you’ll already be well on your way towards keeping your team and property safe.
Rule #6: Avoid putting too many signs in one location
There can be such a thing as too many signs, you know!
While it’s tempting to try and cover yourself by putting up as many signs as you can, oftentimes this can end up backfiring on you.
One word: clutter.
With a dozen signs occupying the same space, it’s easy for information overload to kick in, reducing the visual impact – and therefore, the effectiveness – that safety signs have.
When choosing spots for signs, be sure to avoid choosing an area where signs are already hung up in order to ensure that the message gets through.
Proximity must be carefully considered, as must the type of sign. Be sure to avoid hanging unrelated signs up right next to each other, as this can lead to confusion and impede comprehension and understanding.
As a general rule, you want to put complementary signs together – for example, Hazchem signs, GHS signs and EIPs are all used for chemical warnings, so they make sense together, as do things like PPE signs.
Always make sure that if you put safety signages close with each other, they communicate the same message. Try to avoid putting unrelated signs near each other, as this can only lead to trouble!
What are the four types of safety signs? What three words are commonly found on safety signs?
It might sound like a bit of a strange question to ask – however, there’s a very good reason we’re bringing it up here.
Namely, the fact that safety signs in Australia are fairly tightly regulated, with Australian Standards setting out details such as:
- Mandatory phrases and text
- Required pictograms and icons
- Colours and materials
So now you see why these questions are so important!
After choosing a location for your signs, you’ll need to go on a bit of a shopping spree. But first, you’ll need to understand what Australian Standards require from your safety signs.
Luckily, that’s something that our team can help out with!
We can run you through some of your signage requirements, as well as the most common signs you’ll need for your requirements. Trust us, we’re much more than just a sign shop!
Put your safety signages in the right location with Signsmart
Our mission is simple: to help keep you safe. And signs are a crucial part of that.
Custom site safety signs, hazchem signs, general workplace safety signs… we’ve got everything you need to stay safe and compliant with OHS laws.
Whether it’s questions about sign locations or queries about hazard warning symbols and meanings, we’re here to help..
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