In a busy workplace, you may start to ‘overlook’ signage and fall short of H&S compliance and risk management targets. Making it important to regularly review safety signs regulations.
Are you fully familiar with current workplace safety signs regulations in the UK? Next, the big question is whether your company is still keeping within the rules, and using the correct signs, in the correct places!
Particularly in complex, busy or ever-changing work environments, this issue is far from straightforward. Also, the global pandemic is the perfect example of how safety signage guidelines and demands can alter!
This article is a guide to important safety sign regulations and outlines the latest products for workplace safety communications and compliance.
Beyond compliance; the value of proper signage
Evaluating how up to date your safety signs are is not just about meeting UK regulations (more on this later).
Of course, the biggest reason safety signs are so important is that they prevent injuries to staff or site visitors. Apart from the duty of care you hold, you could face litigation, fines or loss of reputation, if someone is hurt due to poor safety issue communication.
Safety signs can also help you to avoid problems from structural collisions, accidental damage to sensitive electrical equipment and vehicle repair bills!
However, doing a thorough risk assessment and updating workplace signs also brings a far less tangible benefit. Your staff feel safer!
The presence of highly visible, correct and strategically placed safety signs is reassuring not least in demonstrating how serious you are about employee health and welfare.
Do safety signs work?
The answer is yes, but in a qualified way. This also links with why you must stay up to date with safety sign regulations.
To be truly effective, your workplace safety signage needs to be regularly reviewed, refreshed and updated. This prevents it from becoming ‘invisible’ over time, or literally hard to see due to being blocked, faded or placed in inappropriate locations.
Do you understand the different categories of safety signs?
When you get workplace signage right, it does play a significant role in reducing safety accidents, by drawing attention to hazards or prompting essential actions.
Also, keep in mind it doesn’t replace all the other things you can do to maintain site safety. For example, your site speed restriction signs may need to be accompanied by robust, high vis speed bumps!
Best practice and safety signs regulations
Ensuring your signage is up to date and truly visible becomes easier when you evaluate it within the context of the latest H&S rules on this topic. The HSE provides a free downloadable guide to help you.
This backs up what we mentioned above: “Safety signs and signals are required where, despite putting in place all other relevant measures, a significant risk to the health and safety of employees and others remains.”
We gave one example of that above, but others include using trip and slip hazard signs in conjunction with specialist flooring and other physical safety management methods.
Other H&S guidelines include:
- Specific and clear signs for traffic management.
- Proper maintenance of safety signs.
- Training for existing and new staff in the meaning of safety signs and any actions they demand.
The best safety signs
We sell high quality and durable safety signs at low prices. However, the focus is still on you placing them in strategic locations.
For example, informative safety signs should be well spaced out to emphasise visual clarity. Modulean® Shadow Boards are a great way to group safety messages and insights together in an impactful way.
Also, floor markers are not always sufficient and you need to source signs that can be mounted on different surfaces, (including ones directed at HGV and LGV drivers).
Safety signs for warehouses and other high-risk areas – such as weight load markers for racking – must be visible at a glance.
There are other tips in our guide to types of safety signage, so this article will be well worth a read.
Of course, it also helps if you source safety signs designed to deliver maximum clarity and impact, using proven methods of getting attention. Such as incorporating the universal colour coding system for workplace signs.
These are all things we have considered when interpreting safety signs regulations and the needs of modern workplaces. Get in touch with Beaverwood’s workplace product advisors for prices and more product ideas.