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Importance of OSHA Compliant Signs

June 15, 2020

Every workplace that deals with safety issues for employees or other visitors should have a deep understanding of standards enforced by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Worker safety signs must meet these basic federal standards. Here are important points to know about OSHA compliant signs.

Key Requirements for Workplace Signs

OSHA’s three main classifications for workplace signs relate to danger, unsafe conditions, and safety instruction. Specific colors are assigned to these classifications, such as yellow for caution and blue for safety information. Other standards involve sign visibility, lettering size, and readability. The sign must be easy-to-read from 100 feet.

As a division of the Department of Labor, OSHA inspects workplaces and sets both general standards and requirements for specific industries, such as construction, maritime, and agriculture. Inspectors check to confirm various safety measures, such as OSHA compliant signs.

If there is any type of work that can lead to health problems at a workplace, the employer must post a warning sign in a conspicuous place where employees can read it. Factories that use industrial machinery or hazardous chemicals must alert all building occupants with sufficient signage about the health risks. Companies may put specific warnings on tags attached to general danger signs.

Employers Must Take Responsibility

Running a dangerous operation has many drawbacks and liabilities. Manufacturers using sharp blades on cutting devices must pay very close attention to OSHA regulations while a sales office without heavy duty machinery has less to worry about.

Understanding OSHA regulations is essential, as the agency increased its fines for violations significantly in Janurary 2020. Employers must review the requirements and work toward guaranteeing a safe workplace for employees. Besides, warning and caution signs actually do help cut down accidents by reinforcing safety as a top concern.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Fines can be very expensive for small businesses that fail to comply with OSHA standards. The regulator identifies six types of violations with five resulting in heavy fines. The “Other-than-Serious” violation reflects when a safety issue occurs that harms an individual but is not deadly. Fines can surpass $13,000 per violation for mistakes such as neglecting to post required safety signs in a work area.

“Serious” violations occur when an employer is aware of a safety hazard but fails to fix it. These fines can also run over $13,000 per violation as do “repeat” offenses. If OSHA learns the neglect of its standards is “willful” and the case involves death, fines surge up to $134,937 per violation. Additionally, the employer can be criminally charged and possibly face prison time. When OSHA issues a fine, the violating firm has a certain amount of time to pay the balance. If it’s not paid by the due date, the firm can face fines over $13,000 per day.

Total costs for the employer can be much higher if a disaster leads to a personal injury case. Since it’s bad for a company’s reputation to wind up in such a mess, employers need to prioritize placing proper signage in the workplace.


American businesses must be aware of OSHA compliant signs and place them where needed in the workplace. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about promoting worker safety with OSHA compliant signs.

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