Using safety signs to keep jobsites safe should be a number one priority for any company. This usage demonstrates a concern for the safety of the site itself as well as the employees, visitors, and the surrounding community. Whether the onsite danger includes chemicals, hazardous waste, heavy machinery, high temperatures, or a combination of hazards, safety signage is required to create awareness and cultivate a culture of safety.
How to Use Safety Signs to Keep Jobsites Safe
There are federal and state mandates in place for keeping people protected on the job, but for maximum effectiveness, companies should use safety signs to keep jobsites safe. Utilizing these tools is instrumental in alerting people to possible dangers, creating awareness of a person’s surroundings, keeping both workers and the surrounding community safe, and minimizing accidents. Each of these areas is critical to keeping a facility running smoothly.
Much of the time, signs offer visual cues that supersede language barriers thanks to clear and colorful graphics. In the event that a sign must be verbiage heavy, a reputable sign company will offer safety information in multiple languages to enhance understanding.
Safety signs should be posted around and throughout a facility and be prominently displayed for maximum impact. While signage will need to be posted on walls or as stand-alone signs, there are other options. Decals are available for use on vehicles, hardhats, equipment and more. Banners can be helpful in larger areas such as along a perimeter fence, while posters may be more efficient for break rooms and smaller spaces. Safety books and cards may be beneficial for employee training.
Safety Signs for the Jobsite
Safety signs to keep jobsites safe are nonnegotiable for keeping people in the workplace aware of important and potentially lifesaving information. Some of the most frequently utilized signs by facilities such as refineries, plants, and such typically include:
- Site Safety Rules. When entering a plant or refinery, it is critical to practice proper safety at all times. A site safety rules sign is a visual cue for employees and visitors to remember to wear the proper personal protective equipment, enter only authorized areas, drive the speed limit, and discontinue use of cell phones.
- Welcome to our Facility. Signs with this verbiage signal a welcome to visitors as well as a notice of certain rules that must be followed while on the premises, such as signing in with the front office and wearing PPE.
- Beyond This Point PPE Required. In an environment where PPE such as safety glasses, boots, headphones, gloves, and hardhats are required, this signage can serve as an important reminder to employees.
- Tanker Driver Health Safety Reminders. Whether it is to remember to report to the plant operator, not to vent residual air through the silo, or to close hopper valves before entering the site, these signs give tanker drivers specific and concrete reminders of key health, safety, and environmental responsibilities.
- Drive Safely. For a company that relies on drivers for their business, it is recommended to post a sign like this one at the exit of the facility. When drivers exit, they will have a visual signal to buckle up, turn off their cell phone, and practice safe driving.
- Days Without Injury. Signs like this one can often be found at refineries, factories, and plants. They serve as a motivator for employees to practice safety by reminding them how many days the business has gone without a recordable injury.
- Entrance and Exit. Especially in large facilities in which the flow of traffic keeps things running safely and smoothly, it is advantageous to post signs designating which thoroughfares are entrances and which are exits. Additional signs may also help direct individuals to either employee or visitor parking areas.
- Speed Limit Signs. In areas in which potentially hazardous materials are being handled or a slower speed limit is essential to safety, companies would benefit from posting speed limit signs.
- Directional Signs. In many facilities there are restricted or protected areas. To route traffic away from these spots, signs telling drivers to keep right, keep left, to turn around, yield, or go a specific way should be prominently posted to encourage observance.
- Pedestrian Crossing. This sign is a step in the right direction for safer crossings in a facility that is routinely busy with drivers. It helps make drivers aware to yield to people crossing and lets pedestrians know where crossings are approved.
- Directional Signs. Throughout a facility, there will be instances where pedestrians should use caution due to entering a work area, stop to yield to cars, or use a different entrance door. Directional signs can help better govern these movements.
Site Management Signage
- Designated Smoking Area. If there is a portion of the facility that does allow smoking, the company will need signage clearly marking it as a designated smoking area.
- No Smoking. Particularly in plants where there are flammable materials, smoking may be prohibited. Signage that lets employees and visitors know the site is a tobacco free workplace should be posted throughout the facility.
- No Food or Drinking. These signs serve as a reminder that there is no food, drinking, eating or cell phone usage allowed in the immediate area.
- Railroad Crossing. Should there be a railroad crossing onsite, it is imperative that multiple crossing signs be posted to make both drivers and pedestrians aware.
Site Management Signage
Site management signs can include emergency signs, restricted area signs, operating signs, and more, all of which are designed to help streamline site management and keep everyone on site safe.
There are certain areas in a facility that require individuals to exercise caution. It may include watching for heavy or moving equipment, using handrails on the stairs, wearing PPE, using respirators in a designated area, watching for fall hazards, watching for tripping hazards, being aware of hazardous waste areas, observing ‘Keep Out’ warnings, or being aware of hazards such as dust, loud noise, or high voltage.
These signs are cautionary but also signal a potential threat. Danger signs are often needed to make people aware of hazardous materials such as corrosive liquids, waste, gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, deep water, ammonia, hydraulic oil, and more. Danger signs may also serve as a reminder to individuals to keep out or watch for fall hazards.
For facilities that do welding, it is critical to have signage posted regarding how employees should gear up with the proper safety equipment and properly use and manage Oxy-Acetylene.
Heat Stress Management Signage
- Heat Exhaustion. People who work in high temperatures should be aware of the telltale signs of heat exhaustion such as a rapid or weak pulse, or excessive sweating, so they can seek medical attention when necessary.
- Heat Stroke. Another risk for working in high temperatures for extended periods of time can be heat stroke. Signs on this danger should be posted so employees can recognize the warning signs and seek help right away.
- First Aid for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. In addition to making employees aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, signage is also needed to instruct them of the proper steps to take in administering first aid for these conditions.
- Work to Rest and Fluid Intake. These signs guide employees on what their work/rest and fluid intake should be based on the temperature. Observing these protocols can be a preventative measure against heat exhaustion and heat stroke when properly followed.
- Heat Index. Posting heat index warning signs in a designated area allows employees to see the data and arrange their breaks and fluid intake accordingly.
To use safety signs to keep jobsites safe, work with a quality printing company who has a wide range of signs for the jobsite, parking lot, designated areas, break rooms, etc. The company should offer signage in a variety of different mediums including stand-alone signs, banners, posters, decals, lanyards, and more. Ensure that the graphics are clear, colorful, bright, and display a brief message to support the graphic.
Protect your workplace, employees, visitors, community, and reputation today for a safer and more productive tomorrow.