Occupational safety, especially at active worksites, is a primary focus for project managers. Every year, around 1,000 construction workers die while on the job. Most of these fatalities are caused by preventable accidents and easily identifiable hazards.
Information is power when it comes to occupational safety, and this information can be efficiently delivered though printed sitemaps. Sitemaps provide a quick but comprehensive view of the site’s layout, major traffic arteries, restricted areas, and hazards of note. Sitemaps also provide workers and visitors with information about exits, first aid stations, security stations and emergency phones – should an emergency occur.
If this information is presented in high-visibility areas and along emergency exit routes, it can help people react better if an accident or situation does develop.
Are Maps Required by Federal, State or Local Regulations?
Occupational sitemaps are not explicitly mandated by OSHA or other federal safety agencies. However, OSHA’s guidelines suggest the use of sitemaps when developing evacuation and safety plans.
Also, local building ordinances may mandate the presence of a sitemap, usually with exits and emergency routes marked.
What Does a Sitemap Include?
Occupational sitemaps mark out the site’s boundaries and establish where different areas are located. Maps may be created for an already-developed space (like a commercial building) or as part of a developmental site plan. Site plans are used by urban planners, engineers, architects, and landscape crews to mark out work areas and establish pedestrian traffic routes.
At an active worksite, a sitemap can be used to point out:
● Hazard locations
● Vehicle traffic routes
● Access points
● Emergency exit routes
● Medical and management facilities
How are Sitemaps Printed and Presented at Worksites?
Sitemaps are usually produced by a commercial printer and placed in high visibility areas, though it depends on what the sitemap is for. In office buildings, maps make sense in lobbies, stairwells, and other common areas. At worksites, maps are typically posted outside the office.
No matter where they go, though, the point is for sitemaps to be clearly readable at a glance.
Combine Sitemaps with Hazard Signage for Additional Worker Safety
Sitemaps are an excellent site-wide reference, but safety signage is a must for pointing out individual hazards. Safety signage is printed on aluminum sheets during a process called dibond printing, so it’s built for rugged work environments. Not only can it resist dust and water, aluminum is also highly corrosion resistant and can be installed near saltwater without issues.
Safety signage comes in a huge variety of designs, so it can be used with a huge variety of hazards. This includes falling, tripping, slipping, electrocution, pinning, fire, and hazardous chemical/material signage, among others.
Unlike sitemaps, safety signage is mandated where hazards are present. Relevant OSHA regulations include CFR 1910.145, which specifies where safety signage is required, and the General Duty clause, which requires employers to alert workers to hazards and take measures to mitigate them.
Together, safety signage and sitemaps provide people with the information they need to protect themselves.
A Few Reasons to Work with a Commercial Printer for Occupational Sitemaps
Commercial printers are experts in producing safety signage and sitemaps of all kinds. This experience can be extremely valuable for companies developing a new worksite or companies implementing a safety plan. Here are a few reasons to consider a commercial printer for sitemaps:
● Better cost and time efficiency – Printing takes time and supplies – supplies that most businesses may not regularly have on hand. Restocking them can be expensive as well.
Commercial printers are able to sustain lower costs by operating at volume, and part of these savings are passed onto the customer. Partnering with a commercial printer also claws precious time back for your team.
● Access to advanced printing technologies – Commercial printers can print on a variety of media, including thick cardstock, fabric, vinyl or metal. While sitemaps are typically printed on paper, safety signage is usually printed on metal. If your organization is partnered with a commercial printer, it will have access to a full range of printing technologies. You’ll have access to laminators, too, which is ideal for protecting your paper sitemaps.
And, of course, professional printers can print at any size.
● Knowledge of signage regulations – Some commercial printers have extensive experience with safety signage. These professionals know what compliant signage looks like and what standards to follow, so your organization remains in compliance.
In short, commercial printers provide employers with a reliable, cost-efficient means of getting the print materials they need. This could be a sitemap, safety signage, banners, and various branding materials.
Occupational Safety is a Must, and Sitemaps Make it Easier to Achieve
Occupational safety is a top priority in work settings. Whether it’s a construction site, an office building or an industrial complex, sitemaps can support your occupational safety planning. And if produced by a commercial printer, your site’s maps and signage will be developed with compliance in mind. Beyond compliance, though, commercial printers offer a cost effective, time efficient alternative to doing your printing in-house.