Sign usage

Safety signs should be sited in clear view to staff and in appropriate positions to give sufficient warning or time to react. A sign in a warehouse warning of forklift trucks in operation is of little use; if it is only within the trucks operating area. The pictograms used on safety signage must be simple; and bear as straightforward a message as possible, containing only the essential details to avoid misinterpretation.

Safety signs are there to keep workers safe and play an important part in communicating health & safety information. If correctly positioned in clear view and well lit; at all times) they can help in keeping the workforce informed and safe.

Grouping of signs is allowed, but care should be taken to create confusion or contradictions. Here we look at possible inconsistencies of usage.

Here the colour and shape suggest a fire fighting equipment sign; but the message is a hazard warning and therefore should be triangular and yellow and black in colour scheme. The sign has also been defaced (in the right-hand lower corner).

It is not immediately obvious that this is a hazard signboard; it can cause confusion and lead to accidents or a dangerous occurrence.

This example is not so clear cut, but worthy of discussion. This mandatory sign colour and shape does give a positive action, “Keep Clear”.

A Prohibited sign would possibly have been more compliant with the regulations; for the “Keep Clear” instruction; and a two sign option could have been then utilised; instead of one – with Exit from Emergency Escape Route in green livery.

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