Signs are an important part of any organization; safety signs especially. If you are a safety professional, makings sure your safety messages are getting across is extremely important. What type of things can you do to make sure that your signs are being seen and taken seriously? An article by Keith Bilger entitled “Tips for Getting Your Message Across” gives advice on getting your safety signs noticed.
1.) Start by knowing codes and signs needed for each area of your facility. Websites like www.osha.gov provide many resources. Visual aids can be customized or purchased from online or printed catalogs. Safety magazines and buyers guides are also excellent guides when it comes to safety labels.
2.) Find the right balance; too many signs can be distracting, to little signs can be ineffective. Make sure the signs are quick and easy to read as many people read them on the go. In multilingual situations, symbols may work better than words.
3.) The message must be clear, “grey areas” are not acceptable. The Author suggests makings signs direct by saying “Danger: High Voltage” instead of just “Danger” or “Caution: Radiation Area” instead of just “Caution.” The location of the sign must be accurate and close to the danger. Make sure any unnecessary or outdated signs are taken down. If the signs are not up to date, workers may pick and choose what they want to read.
4.) Train the workers on what each sign means, and why it’s there. Document your training.
5.) When the same sign stays in one place for more than a few weeks it is easily overlooked. Signs tend to fade into the background after time. Signs can be updated and rotated frequently for more effectiveness. If possible, use technology to your advantage. By creating slide shows that change information and presenting it to employees via monitors or televisions safety information can be accurately displayed.
Keith Bilger also suggests that when an accident happens employees should be asked about signs in the area of the accident. What did they notice? Where they effective in any way? This will give you a good idea of what things need to be changed.
Safety signs as well as safe non slip flooring contribute to an overall safe work environment. Keeping workers on their feet helps keep injury rates down and contributes to a good safety culture.
Bilger, Keith. “Tips for Getting Your Message Across” www.ohsonline.com December 1, 2012. January 4, 2013. http://ohsonline.com/articles/2012/12/01/tips-for-getting-your-message-across.aspx?admgarea=ht.FacilityManagement>