An important part of keeping your workplace accident-free is following rules laid out by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration about safety signage. You should always follow these guidelines, but you may also want to supplement required posters with signage tailored to your workplace’s needs. Read on for ways to customize advisory signs in your workplace.
How Can You Meet Mandatory OSHA Guidelines?
If you’re responsible for implementing your company’s safety protocols, you’re already familiar with the basics of what’s required by OSHA. Hazards should always be marked the same way so that employees can understand the risks of a certain piece of equipment or area in the workroom before engaging with it. Before adding extra signs that may not be related to communicating hazards by regular OSHA standards, review your currently posted signage. Consider:
- Is the wording used on each sign clear, concise, positive and accurate?
- Are relevant OSHA icons used in accordance with their accepted definitions?
- Does the use of color-coding adhere to stated specifications?
- Can all the wording on the signs be read easily?
- Are signs promptly removed when a hazard is no longer present?
What Supplemental Safety Signage Should You Consider?
Depending on your industry and the unique needs of your workplace, it may be necessary to remind workers about important safety practices beyond the legal minimum requirement. For instance, if you manage employees in the foodservice industry, you might want to post reminders about frequent handwashing near workstations or in bathrooms.
Safety programs can also benefit from the use of motivational signage that encourages workers to think about why it’s important for them to work safely. Asking workers to stay safe for the sake of their family, friends and co-workers conveys that even though safety protocols may be time-consuming or unpleasant, they’re designed to protect employees. Well-placed horizontal safety banners and break room posters help workers internalize the benefits of a safe workplace.
How Should You Choose Motivational Signage?
When you decide to add motivational or informational safety posters, think about the personality of your workplace and the themes to which you think employees will respond best. Non-OSHA signage can include humor or local themes to make the material feel personal and relatable. Bright colors and photographs may capture attention more effectively than text-heavy signs in just a few colors.
There are dozens of stylized safety signs on the market, but before buying, consider the themes that are most important in your workplace. Do you frequently need to prompt employees to follow basic safety protocols, or does your workplace have unique hazards, like heat exposure or hazardous energy, to which you want to call extra attention? Focusing on the most crucial subject matter will ensure that employees read and remember the most important posters.
Safe environments are the foundation of effective businesses. Implementing the basic requirements of an essential safety program is a good start, but employees will benefit more when you tailor your communications to their personalities and needs in the workplace.