Protecting the health and wellbeing of workers through safety signalling in the workplace environment

Safety signals are the used marking, sign or colour signal as well as an oral or bodily signal that can indicate a certain activity, situation or object and provides information about the forbidden activity. Things like the obligation of wearing a helmet or the restriction of an area to pedestrians only. You can print such signs yourself or acquire them off a professional provider.

Using safety signals is compulsory on fields of activity with an important risk and where utilising the proper signal helps to decrease it. For example, it is common that instructions need to be signalled to drivers when they managing the lifting devices or transport loads. Some other work sites can have the risk of injury even if are measures applied to minimise the health hazard. In such cases, the worker needs to be informed with a safety sign and he or she also needs to to use the necessary protective uniform. It is key to understand that the safety signals do not under any circumstances replace safety measures aimed at minimising or avoiding the health risks.

Safety signs are needed to apply a consistent design across similar functions. By understanding the kinds of signs and their purpose, we can determine what exactly we need in our workspace and where we need to display them. By utilising consistent safety signs we will increase awareness as well as compliance to their messaging.

Employers should explain to their workers the situations in which the safety signals need to be utilised. It is possible that the worker will then notice other work situations in which signals need be used too, and consequently informs his or her employer.

The employer should inform the workers about the safety signals used and explain the meaning of these signs because when the worker does not fully understand the meaning of these signals, they won’t be able to behave as expected.

The Health and Safety Regulations brought to the United Kingdom law a European directive to standardise safety signs throughout the EU. In order to overcome language barriers, meanings of signs are not conveyed simply by words but by other characteristics. These regulations set out certain minimum requirements for the provision of safety signs at work.


When and where should we use these safety signs?

The rules establish that employers need to provide safety signs anywhere in the workspace where other methods cannot deal satisfactorily with the hazards and risks.

These safety signs are not in any way a substitute for alternative methods of controlling risks; they are supposed to be used to reinforce other measures, like safe systems of work and engineering controls, to help lower risks further.

Some safety signs warn about a specific hazard, provide a mandatory instruction or prohibit a dangerous behaviour. These safety signs need to be sited wherever the information should be communicated. Generally siting of these signs will be in the immediate vicinity of the potential danger.

Some other safety signs identify fire-fighting equipment and their exact location, identify first aid equipment and their location or identify emergency escape routes and exits. Siting should be wherever is necessary to enable workers to easily find what they need.

You can produce such signs yourself in-house or you can also go to your trusted local printing provider. You can even design your safety signs yourself so that they are adapted to your business and operations, in order to prevent the specific hazards of your workplace, and then send the finalised documents online to your local printer shop. A professional printer shop will be able to provide you with online document printing as well as with safety signalling printing for your business.

Sarah Williams
Sarah is a copywriter who lives in London. She is passionate about the online universe, and in her free time she enjoys reading Murakami, playing basketball and travelling as much as she can