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Increase workplace safety awareness

Workplace safety signs
Amplify workplace safety by pointing out dangers to employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency tasked with ensuring safe workplace conditions by setting and enforcing standards. OSHA also provides training and assistance programs via training DVDs and publications. OSHA also recommends that employers communicate OSHA standards and workplace safety tips orally or in written form. Writing your safety commandments down is better since it avoids possible ambiguity and serves as a constant reminder (in case employees forget and need to refer back to a written source).

The ideal and simplest vehicle of written communication is posting signs. Signs are effective because they condense important safety information into a small area. Even the very shape and color is sometimes enough to convey your safety message. yellow diamond signs means warning, red octagons mean stop, even if you’re using these shapes in your basement, and not on the highway. Placed in a conspicuous location, these signs can inform employees to the presence of danger or just to remind them to practice good safety habits. Not only do signs create a safer work environment, but also safeguard employers from possible negligence suits and other costly litigation, since many of OSHA’s standards require employers to post warning or safety signs to communicate the regulations.

Signs also save time: rather than having to constantly educate new employees via training programs, signs allow employees to learn for themselves. Furthermore, in cases of emergency, signs can guide employees in the absence of verbal communication (which is least dependable in crises). These signs can indicate areas of refuge, the way to safety, or the location of a fire extinguisher. They can also help reinforce routine safety situations, like when to don a respirator or whether a piece of industrial equipment is being locked out for service.

Printable signs are one of many great, cost-efficient ways to maximize workplace safety. Using the web to locate a printable safety sign can help save costs when a sign isn’t strictly regulated by safety laws, and while these signs may lack the sturdiness and durability of aluminum signs, they work just fine for indoor use such as offices. Often a critical message needs to be posted permanently on a durable surface (and you can be assured that if that’s the case, OSHA inspectors will fine you for using a paper sign to save on costs) but sometimes there are safety emergencies where a sign posted is better than no sign at all, like during a mandatory evacuation or when some part of an entrance or exit has been damaged and visitors need to be warned while repairs are under way.

Of course, the safest workplace environment is one where every employee takes safety very seriously, and signage is only there to reinforce their ingrained behavior. Other safety-enhancing strategies include workplace incentive programs that include rewards for safety, awareness programs, safety labels and pins, or even safety scoreboards that track the number of accident-free days.

 
 
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