Safety Signs in the Workplace: Their Importance, Benefits & Different Types

Safety Signs in the Workplace: Their Importance, Benefits & Different Types

Whether you work in an office space or manufacturing setting, just glance around — safety signs are all around us. You are likely to be surrounded by various warning or health and safety signs as you go about your job.

These signs can easily fade into the background during your day, but they form an essential part of any workplace. This is especially the case in jobs where lives could be at risk if safety precautions are not adhered to at every stage.

Wondering why you should invest in high-quality safety signs? Let’s discuss their importance (and necessity) in the workplace. What benefits can they bring to your company? What different types of safety signs are there?

Safety signs

What Is The Importance of Safety Signs in the Workplace?

Other than being a legal requirement in some cases, safety signs help to promote a safe, responsible environment for employees and visitors. They are used to clearly and succinctly communicate information and educate about potential hazards or dangers ahead, preventing accidents. Safety signs can play a role in keeping your workplace secure and even for deterring theft.

Day-to-day Safety of All Staff

The most important function of safety signs is to remind employees at critical or important junctures to be careful and remain aware. Safety signs can be installed almost anywhere and can contain any message that your business requires in order to keep your employees as safe as possible within the workplace.

Any business owner’s main priority should be to keep all of their employees safe at all times, so it’s essential that you take every precaution available, starting with investing in a simple plastic label safety sign. Without these, many employees would lack the necessary direction in times of crisis, and employers might find themselves in significant legal difficulties if any accidents were to arise as a result.

Employees that feel safe and secure in their working environment will not only feel more valued by their employer, but can perform better work knowing that all potential dangers are clearly managed, pinpointed and communicated.

It Can Be A Legal Requirement

In order to comply with the Health and Safety Regulations 1996, there are a number of scenarios where signage must be provided. Regardless of the industry your business operates within, there is a high probability that you will require some form of safety sign, whether that be something as simple as a ‘Caution: Low Beam’ sign.

The HSE website contains more details about these instances. If there is a ‘significant risk that can’t be avoided or controlled in any way’, then a sign is needed. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you might find yourself in legal difficulties if you neglect your safety signage obligations.

Education, Especially of New Employees or Visitors

Safety signs would be best used for educational purposes if you work within a manufacturing or engineering environment, where dangers are all around you — especially if you have new employees or guests coming into the business on a regular basis.

Safety signs are often the first interaction new employees will have with best practice when it comes to safety, so it’s essential that you have signs that concisely and clearly communicate the information you require. In the event of a crisis, ensuring employees are guided and directed appropriately is key.

Don’t be afraid to invest in too many safety signs; it’s vital that your business over prepares for every eventuality where possible.

Prevention of Accidents, Particularly Outdoors

If your business has the chance to prevent an accident through the installation of a simple sign, would you seize that opportunity? Of course you would. That’s why it’s essential that signs are used as a preventative measure within the workplace.

Safety signs are especially important for anyone who works in outdoor environments where hazards are always present; construction and the marine sector are two industries where this is a feature of day-to-day work. Safety signs are there to prevent the risk of serious injury.

When it comes to installing the right kind of safety sign to cope with the environmental pressures faced from working outdoors, we would strongly recommend using weatherproof outdoor labels to ensure longevity and durability; your signs may be anodised aluminium or etched stainless steel for the ultimate performance in adverse conditions.

Security of Your Premises

Whilst a safety sign’s primary function is to keep your employees safe whilst at work, they can also be used for security purposes too. Retail is a classic example of this, with some areas of the premises restricted for employees only.

Signs that display this are not only used for security purposes to ensure customers do not enter employee-only areas, but are also essential to shopper safety, especially if any form of machinery is used in the stockroom. Signs clearly designating a prohibited area of a working environment can deter theft, too.

Safety Signs

Different Types of Safety Signs & Materials

In industrial settings, common signs can include red prohibition signs (such as ‘no access’ signage), yellow warning signs (which typically include ‘caution’ or ‘take care’ messaging), blue mandatory signs (these can prescribe behaviour, such as ‘wear protective equipment’) and green emergency signage (such as fire exits).

These can be produced using a range of materials — paper, PVC, polyethylene, polycarbonate, polyester, stainless steel and even anodised aluminium — using certain processes depending on the intended environment and application.

  • Industrial — This can cover a huge range of signs, and some may need to be clearly visible from a distance. They can be produced with digital printing or silkscreen printing, with common materials including PVC, polycarbonate and polyester in a range of thicknesses and finishes.
  • Weatherproof labels — For safety signs that need to last in harsh environments, these signs are often printed on etched stainless steel or anodised aluminium. These signs can be manufactured with UV resistant inks that have been tested to ANSI specifications, ensuring good colour stability. Some may need to be visible in low light conditions and may require reflective ink.
  • Equipment nameplates — These provide useful information about a piece of equipment, potentially including important safety guidance. As these can feature in adverse environments where knocks and abrasions are to be expected, popular solutions for this sort of safety sign include etched stainless steel and even anodised aluminium. These can often be required to be UV stable and resistant to fading.
  • Roll labels — These types of labels, as the name suggests, come as a roll containing a repeated design; great for designating potentially dangerous products in a warehouse, for example. Materials can include paper, polyethylene and polyester. These can be supplied to be tamper evident. This includes roll form labels which have space for information and can be sequentially numbered.

GSM Graphic Arts: Over 45 Years’ Experience Manufacturing Quality Safety Signs & Warning Labels

Since 1974, our team has been leading the way providing durable, high-quality safety signs and warning labels as well as metal labels and QR code labels on a variety of materials to meet any application.

With a leading range of processes, we help companies of all sizes and market sectors to meet their safety sign requirements with bespoke, cost-effective solutions.

Whether you need some roll labels for a warehousing application or perhaps an ultra-durable weatherproof sign for the marine sector, we can help. All of our signs are manufactured to the highest standards, ISO 9001:2008.

Whether you know exactly what you’re after or you’d like a little advice from our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Fill in our request a quote form, email or phone 01845 522 184. You can also request our brochure and sample pack.