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How OSHA Signs Reduce Workplace Injuries

February 6, 2018

Despite workplace safety requirements established by OSHA, millions of workers still get injured on the job every year. Many times these injuries are a result of not paying attention to basic safety standards. Sometimes when workers become comfortable with their jobs they take safety basics for granted. Posting OSHA signs at a job site can serve as a top-of-mind reminder of the risks involved.

Types of OSHA Signs

  • Danger – most severe hazards that require precautions
  • Warning – potentially deadly hazard with low risk
  • Caution – may lead to minor injuries

Meeting OSHA Requirements

Every employer who requires machinery to be used in the workplace must comply with both ANSI and OSHA requirements for signage. Safety signs must be posted in certain areas to warn workers and bystanders of potential hazards. These signs need to be designed based on standards set by ANSI, so that they are instantly recognized from shop to shop. Colors, letter style, and size are some of the sign elements that must be standardized.

Sign Placement

Knowing where to place OSHA signs is important to reduce injuries. Usually anywhere in a facility where there is risk of injury requires placement of a safety sign of some type. However, not all safety signs need to have a warning tone, as it depends on the level of danger.

A “notice” sign may be appropriate if you want to make visitors aware of certain machines or processes in an area that may cause personal injuries. A “general safety” sign is one that typically informs individuals about health concerns presented by equipment. A “fire safety” sign usually explains emergency equipment used by firefighters and a layout of fire exits. A “non-hazard” sign gives visitors tips that promote a safer environment.

OSHA requires safety signs to be placed as close as safely possible to a hazard so that the risk is clear. Any situation that exposes people to potentially hazardous conditions calls for a safety sign. The more dangerous the situation, the more the sign needs to be placed closer to the root of the danger.

One of the most important considerations for safety sign placement is how well it can be seen from a distance. Words such as “danger” and “caution” should be visible from at least five feet away. In general, the sign should be easy to read so that workers are able to watch out for potential danger and be ready to respond to it. Furthermore, the sign should not present additional hazards such as sharp corners.

OSHA signs help communicate safety reminders, which can reduce or eliminate on the job injuries. The best way to raise safety awareness in the workplace is by strategically placing standardized signs in a facility where it cannot be overlooked.

To learn more about OSHA signs and/or order signs for your workplace, contact Zumar for a Free Consultation.

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