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Why Are Warning and Safety Signs So Important in the Workplace?


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Caution Overhead Work in Progress Sign

Safety signs can be found in almost every corner of workplaces, buildings and large facilities. Despite how prevalent they are, you may not even notice the abundance of safety signage you encounter daily. From supermarkets and airports to roadways and construction sites, safety warning signs are all over the place – and for good reason.

What is the purpose of safety signs?

Although many hazards may seem obvious to a lot of people, there are multiple reasons why safety signs are important and widespread:

  • Drawing attention to health and safety issues
  • Documenting safety procedures and protocols
  • Reminding employees and visitors to put on safety equipment before entering an area
  • Specifying the location of emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, eyewash stations and shutoff valves
  • Prohibiting actions or mandating certain precautionary activities

As far as preventing unintended injuries and deaths, safety signs are crucial, but what about the additional legal obligation? In many circumstances, safety signage is required by law and is part of OSHA signage requirements.

What are OSHA signage requirements?

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces specifications, rules and regulations regarding safety and warning signs.

These requirements dictate everything down to the color, pattern, shape and typography of your safety signs, although some leeway exists when it comes to design and messaging.

Though it may seem like a lot to handle for smaller businesses, neglecting to follow legal requirements could cost you big time. OSHA takes hazard and safety communications very seriously and enforces steep penalties for employers that knowingly fail to comply with signage requirements.

Types of warning signs your business may need

There are various types of regulatory and safety signs in the workplace that are needed to ensure safety for all workers and visitors.

Bilingual safety signage

Businesses with bilingual and non-native speakers will often post safety signs in two or more languages. Pictographs and well-known safety symbols are also generally used to transcend language barriers so that the safety message is universally understood and clear for everyone.

OSHA safety signsUse Caution Signs

OSHA-approved Notice signs often highlight information about proper procedure for Personal Protection Equipment. For example, a Notice safety sign may warn that a hard hat is required in a certain area. OSHA also classifies Warning, Caution and Danger signs for specific safety situations and precautions.

Warning signs

These signs are vital to alerting visitors and workers of potential risks in a dangerous location. For example, there should always be a metal DANGER sign posted where the risk of serious injury or death is high. The safety alert symbol and red coloring of this type of safety sign immediately sends a message of warning to anyone looking at it.

Need help with your safety signs? Signs Now Rapid City is here!

Whether you’re looking for assistance with workplace safety signage, OSHA signage requirements or want to learn more about the importance of safety signs, our team at Signs Now Rapid City has the expertise and experience to help! We have an array of Hazard, Warning and Safety Signage for all applications and budgets. To get started, contact us today!