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Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Health and safety signs

07-06-2012

Photo shows a high voltage electricity warning signHealth and safety signs play an important role in keeping us safe and as they indicate to us a possible health and/or safety hazard and also indicate how we can protect ourselves in a hazardous situation. From toxic chemicals to overhead loads, signs are used to indicate a wide range of situations.

Another important aspect of health and safety signs is the colors and symbols used on the signs. Warning signs, for example, are usually yellow in color with black text and/or graphics. The consistency in the use of yellow and black for cautioning against danger means that whenever we see these colors on a sign, we automatically become alert and pay attention to what the sign is indicating.

Symbols play a similar role to colors. Like colors, symbols are often used, and there are certain symbols that are very familiar and create an immediate reaction.  For example, the circle with a cancelled out cigarette gives everyone the message that they are in a no-smoking area and it creates an instant reaction.

Certain text-only signs are also very common and popular. For instance, the STOP sign is a universal sign and is probably the most widely used text-only sign. Health and Safety signs are usually made by combining all or at least two of the above-mentioned parts. Here are some of these signs:

Warning Signs

Warning signs are used to caution against different types of hazards, including guard dogs, slippery surface, hot surface, electric wires, overhead load, flammable nature of substances/objects, explosive nature of substances/objects, radiation, toxins, laser, temperature, and corrosion.

Fire Exit Signs

Fire exits are an important part of any building structure. There are a variety of such signs, including signs for fire equipment, fire door, fire refuge, fire assembly, fire I.D., and fire action. 

Mandatory Signs

Some signs are compulsory (Mandatory) to use as mandated by the law. These include signs for access safety, general safety, site safety, and personal protection.

First Aid Signs

First aid signs provide information about where people can get the safety equipment or first aid kit in the event of an emergency. Considering their importance, these signs should be placed where everyone can easily see them.

Installing health and safety signs is not only important, but in certain cases also mandatory. These signs are used in all kinds of places, and their use has become an important part of our everyday lives.

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