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The importance of safety and security signs at a workplace

The importance of safety and security signs at a workplace

Workplace mishaps can be hazardous, and employees’ safety is an employer’s responsibility as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) norms. Safety and security signs are an easy but effective way of keeping employees aware of the various hazards that can occur at the workplace and how to avoid them. Here are three primary reasons why a workplace should have safety signs.

Educational purposes
When an employee is aware of a potential hazard, they will take conscious steps to keep away. Safety and security signs act as the first point of interaction through which new employees get acquainted with the workplace and areas that can be potentially dangerous. If your workplace has new employees joining every now and then, safety signs can also act as an on-boarding element.

Adherence to legalities
The law requires every workplace to have safety and security signs at places that pose a risk to employees’ safety. These signs should be clear, legible, strategically placed so that they are easily visible, and well-maintained. OSHA violations can lead to regulatory and legal repercussions, including the following:

  • Notice
    OSHA inspectors may send notices to warn companies that are not compliant with mandatory signage and environmental control regulations
  • Fines
    Heavy fines can be imposed on companies that are found to be seriously violating the laws
  • Revoked license
    A company can have its license revoked and its business shut down if found to be repeatedly and willfully violate OSHA, ANSI, and other regulatory agents’ mandates
  • Criminal prosecution
    This is the most extreme OSHA penalty and is charged when an employer is considered to have willfully neglected safety standards, leading to a worker’s death

Preventive measure
Safety and security signs can act as a preventive measure at workplaces with hazardous areas and dangerous chemicals’ usage. These signs advise workers to take action to avoid a particular risk. For example, a sign can advise workers to wear safety goggles to dodge flying chips or wear gloves to prevent the skin from coming in contact with harmful chemicals. Some signs are used to convey that a particular area has restricted access (only for employees). Such signs are meant to keep customers from entering areas with equipment or machinery.

The importance of safety and security signs cannot be understated, and they should be considered an important part of an organization’s safety program. Complying with OSHA and ANSI signage standards also helps your business communicate its value for the employees, supporting safe and secure jobs.