Importance Of Safety Signs
Are the proper safety signs being displayed at your workplace?
Some workers may have been on the job for years and may understand the hazards on the job, however, for visitors to an industrial site, or for new employees who aren’t familiar with the site, they may not understand the hazards.
Therefore, we need to ensure that we are using all of the proper safety signs to also notify visitors, and all employees on the job site.
Displaying safety signs is the best way to to prevent:
- Injury on the job place;
- Ensure staff and visitors are well aware of the possible dangers and hazards ahead in certain situations and/or environments;
- To provide direction to employees in times of crisis;
What Signs Should Be Displayed?
For the most part, common sense dictates where signage should be displayed, however, what are the requirements for those signs?
According to Master Builders Queensland:
“Health and safety laws require that people on or near construction sites are warned of all hazardous activities taking place.”
Before we can understand where safety signs need to be displayed, we first need to understand the types of signs for each hazard.
Four Categories Of Signs
Indicates when a safety instruction needs to take place. This sign is indicated by a blue circle with a white picture within it.
Warns when there is a hazard that is generally not life-threatening. Warning signs can be identified by a yellow background.
These signs warn when a particular hazard is life threatening. These signs incorporate the word ‘danger’ in white letters on a red oval shape against a black background.
Emergency signs are used to indicate the location of, or directions to, emergency-related facilities such as exits, safety equipment or first aid facilities. General emergency information signs can be identified by a green square with white writing or pictures
So, how do you know if your site is following all of the mandatory job-site requirements for signage that complies with the current Queensland Government laws?
According to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) sign requirements are the following:
- be made of weatherproof materials;
- be bigger than half a square metre;
- have 50mm high print or larger;
- be clearly visible from the street.
The principal contractor is responsible for making sure the sign complies with the law.
What has to displayed on your sign?
Your name as it appears on your licence (under the QBCC Act) and the number.
These are the regulations on the types of safety signs that are required in the job place.
Keep in mind, assessing all hazards on the job site on a daily and weekly basis is key to ensuring the right signage is being displayed and that all preparations are being taken to ensure that workers are safe on the job site.
You can ensure that you are keeping your workers safety in mind with safety signage by a combination of:
- complying to legal signage requirements
- common sense;
- daily and weekly job-site hazard assessments.