Safety signs are important to communicate to the people around a certain location what danger or hazards are present, what are the prohibited and mandatory actions or object to avoid these hazards, and where is the location of a certain object or place that promotes protection and safety such as the fire exit, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.
Here are some important things to note to familiarize yourself with the important characteristics of safety signages to easily know what safety precaution is ahead so you know how to act on them.
Safety signs always have the following quality:
- Highly visible – The use of colors, strategic size, and reflectorized materials that would make it attention-grabbing even at night. One example is photoluminescent signage that is not expensive and does the job both in light and dark.
- Easy to understand – Symbols and bold letters are used to convey a clear message. The symbols are important not only because visual elements are easy to understand, but they also help people of different nationalities to get the message without reading the words.
- Sturdy – Strong materials are used so it does not wear off easily and the visual elements are clearly written for a long period of time.
The 4 Standard Colors
Colors help identify the different types of warning purposes that the safety sign wants to deliver.
Red in most countries depicts evil and danger.
Stop an action | Prohibition | Fire (fire hose, ladder, extinguisher, emergency telephone)
Yellow is one of the most attractive colors when put in a dull background and is not commonly found in workplaces that makes it highly noticeable.
Caution | Warning | Hazards
Blue is a calm color that commonly depicts trust and authority in most countries thus, suitably fits mandatory actions.
Mandatory safety actions or obligation
The green color is associated with wealth, luck, and nature.
Safe zone (emergency exit, first aid kit equipment, safety materials)
Triangle / Diamond
Indicated hazard alerts
Square / Rectangle
There are specific requirements being followed to what type of signs to be used depending if it’s a workplace, road construction, etc. The signage’s appearance may also depend on the regulations implemented by a country’s local safety administration, but it is sure that the mentioned characteristics above are the commonly followed standards otherwise, will always be incorporated into the signage overall design.
It is important for employees to understand these signages before beginning to work. Therefore, employers must conduct a training/seminar and use the mandatory signages stated by the USA’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or their local safety regulations that were given by their government to properly equipped their employees the safety and first aid knowledge and avoid unwanted injuries and even death.