Workplaces and Areas You Wouldn’t Expect to Need Safety Signs
Could your workplace be missing important safety signs and creating unnecessary risk? Discover workplaces and areas you wouldn’t expect to need safety signage.
While obvious industries like Agriculture, Transport, Construction, and Manufacturing rank at the top of the list for most dangerous jobs in Australia, there is risk associated with every workplace and job type. Just because you don’t work in one of these high-risk industries doesn’t mean you can be complacent. According to SafeWork Australia, fatalities occur in seemingly safe industries like Administrative & Support Services, Public Administration & Safety, and Health Care & Social Assistance.
When your workplace has significant hazards or regulations, like heavy machinery or a requirement for protective clothing, it’s easy to know which signs to install. But there are many workplaces that may not even realise their need for safety signage. Here are the 6 types of safety signs and examples of where you can use them in your workplace:
1. Prohibition Signs
If you are located on private property and need to restrict access, you will benefit from NO ENTRY signs to draw attention to this prohibition. Most people would be aware that smoking is banned from food service areas and enclosed public places, like retail shops, but signage is still necessary. You may have patrons from overseas who are unfamiliar with our laws for instance. Or you may want to restrict people from using their mobile phones in your small business to reduce the impact on others.
- Private property
- Food service areas
- Retail shops
- Small business
2. Mandatory Signs
Personal protective equipment is used in many workplaces and appropriate signage needs to be displayed to instruct staff. If you work in a kitchen or canteen doing food handling, or a laboratory handling chemicals, or perhaps on a production site with office employees and visitors moving between areas, you’ll need mandatory signs.
- Kitchen or canteen
- Production site
3. Danger Signs
For the obviously risky workplaces like construction, building or mining, it is imperative to display danger signs for the hazards. But building or construction may occur as part of a redevelopment of your current location and you will need to ensure that warnings are put in place to help protect staff and visitors in the new conditions.
- Construction or building site
- During renovations/redevelopment
4. Warning Signs
Any high traffic areas like corridors, loading docks, lunch areas or public spaces may require warning signs to indicate potential hazards, like a driveway that is slippery when wet.
5. Emergency Information Signs
Every workplace has a legal requirement to signpost exits and first aid. These emergency information signs are needed in schools, hospitals, offices, and more. Old buildings and large businesses with strong safety records may become complacent or laws may have change since their construction, putting their employees at risk for lack of appropriate signage.
6. Fire Signs
Another compulsory set of safety signage is for your fire alarms and fire-fighting equipment. As above with Emergency Information Signs, Fire Signs may not currently be installed, or you may not have all the signage you need. Assuming your workplace is properly fitted with fire alarms and fire-fighting facilities, the location of each should be indicated by the corresponding Fire Sign. Separate signs can be used for associated messages.
Posting compliant safety signs is an important step to reducing incidents in any workplace, both for employees and visitors. It can be surprising to discover where you might need safety signage, but as we’ve shown, even “safe" industries need safety signage. Contact us for a safety sign audit to determine what you need for your workplace.