Proceed With Caution: 5 Safety Guidelines for the Workplace

Workplace safety has increased significantly in most organizations for some time now thanks to the use of proper labels and signage. These have been instrumental in promoting safety and reducing injury cases and this is because they do not only remind workers of possible dangers of handling some equipment but also offer guidelines on their use. Companies that have implemented a strict safety program that uses signage warning of potential danger and recommending precautions have realized many benefits that range from the effectiveness of operations in the workplace to better handling of equipment. The following are 5 benefits of adopting safety signage in the workplace.

1. Navigation

In addition to showing the direction from one point to another, safety signs help people in a workplace to safely navigate while handing potentially harmful substances. They do this by warning workers to stay away from locations that might be dangerous like slippery floors and informing them of ideal and safer paths. Way-finding signs also benefit workers during emergencies by directing them to life-saving equipment like fire extinguishers and to remedies that can assist one who has come into contact with a harmful substance.

2. Create arc flash danger awareness

Arc flash occurs when least expected and is always a concern to many workers doing maintenance on electrical equipment. Arc flash safety signs usually help in these instances to create awareness of the availability of these risks to prevent accidents. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requires that there should be appropriate signage in a workplace to give information about the electric equipment and any potential dangers such as arc flash.

These signs typically include the equipment that will provide for the level of protection required in handling different equipment, the arc flash boundary that tells the distance by which an unprotected person can be affected by an arc flash, and the nominal system voltage that shows the voltage circuit class for each equipment. All these WHMIS labels can help protect workers from accidents and contribute to the overall health and safety of the workplace.

3. Showing exit routes in cases of emergencies

Signs play an important role in communicating emergency exit routes. These emergency routes help workers escape faster and easily in case of any emergencies. They are also important in reducing crowding in the main exits and in turn instances of accidents and injuries. In addition to identifying emergency exits, signs posted over doors as ”No Exit” prevent people from using doors that will not aid them in escaping and they can then find one where they can use, whether it be a main entry or an emergency exit.

4. Better handling of equipment during maintenance

To keep workers safe and to be in compliance with health and safety laws, it is necessary to complete routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs periodically. Signs are important to give directions and implement measures to follow before and during maintenance to ensure safe and best practices. Some of these important signs include tag out and lock out labels that prevent machines from being operated, labels that indicate dangers that may be caused by a specific machine, and instruction labels that remind workers of procedures to be completed before beginning maintenance.

5. Use of safety gear

In a workplace, safety signs offer guidance on how to reduce accidents by suggesting the proper protective gear. Each label shows what personal protection equipment is to be worn in a specific place. For example, foot protection signs that are put in places where there are sharp objects on the floor or strong chemicals that could cause injuries or burns. Eye protection warnings suggest there could be flying debris or chemicals that could cause serious injury in the area. Such signs are instrumental in keeping employees safe in the workplace and have proven to allow for significant reductions in serious injuries.

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