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Safety signs at work are some of the most crucial. Whether you work at an office or a factory, they’re a priority mainly because they keep everyone out of danger and make sure that work flows properly. If you’re not sure which signs you would need at your workplace, there are a few types that you need to remember, and we’ve listed them down below.
Six Australian Standard Compliant Safety Signs
Australian safety signs come in six types, each with uniform designs to allow for continuity. Understanding these types will help you know where to add or place them in your workplace or facility.
The six types of official safety signs in Australia include:
- Prohibition signs
- Mandatory signs
- Warning signs
- Danger signs
- Emergency information signs
- Fire signs
Many of these signs are in AS 1319:1994, also known as Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. There are also generalised signs that are not part of the official requirements but are popular due to their more common needs.
There are also COVID-19 signs that remind workers and visitors about crucial health requirements in the current pandemic. These include social distancing signs and mask reminders that help curb the spread of the virus.
Prohibition signs are signs that tell people not to do something. They instruct you not to complete a certain task within a certain area.
These prohibition signs use the universally recognised red circle with a diagonal line. They tend to use a plain, black pictogram that shows the action, together with the red prohibition circle. The field is usually white for maximum clarity.
In some circumstances, these can also have red borders around them. The text will always use black for maximum clarity.
Some examples of these prohibition signs include:
- No entry
- No eating or drinking
- Do not use
- No smoking
- Unauthorised personnel not allowed
There are no shape requirements for these signs, which can come in circles, squares, rectangles, or even triangles. These are almost similar to traffic prohibition signs.
A mandatory sign is the exact opposite of a prohibition sign in Australia. These signs indicate that you must follow a certain instruction in the area where they are displayed. These instructions can be crucial to your health and safety or vital to the operation.
Mandatory signs tend to use blue pictograms on a white field. In some cases, the pictograms can also be either black or blue, usually inside a blue circle. These communicate instructions, things that are allowed, rather than prohibited.
The white field is mandatory for clarity, and the text is usually in black. In some cases, a workplace can add a blue border around the sign itself. Some add thick blue lines around it, whilst others add a simple blue border.
Some of these signs include:
- Protection must be worn
- Guards must be used
- Always use
- Body parts must be contained
- Always wash hands
- Protective equipment must be worn beyond this point.
Much like the other types of safety signs, these can come in almost any shape. The most common style, however, is the rectangular portrait, which looks great when made by a dedicated printing team.
Warning signs are usually self-explanatory – they inform upcoming hazards or hazard conditions, and readers should exercise caution.
Warning signs typically come in a yellow field, many of which use black pictogram inside a black triangle as a hazard symbol. It’s crucial always to use a yellow field for this type of sign.
Some hazard signs include:
- Slippery when wet
- Beware of injury while lifting
- Beware of flash
- Beware of vehicles
In some cases, the text for hazard signs come in red and may even use several languages. These signs usually come in rectangles, squares, or triangles.
Danger signs are almost similar to hazard signs but warn against more immediate, life-threatening danger. Danger signs are a crucial instruction that workers must follow or be aware of, considering the imminent potential for fatality.
These signs typically have white DANGER in bold on top, using a black rectangle and red oval. The danger sign alerts people to threats and is there to protect your life.
Common danger signs include:
- Do not enter
- High voltage
- Crush zone
Danger signs almost exclusively come in rectangular or square shapes. They may or may not have pictograms, depending on the needs of your workplace. They also work as corflute signs.
If you plan on using danger signs, it’s best to consult a safety sign expert who can help create an effective sign.
Emergency Information Signs
Emergency information signs are known as informative signs. These inform potential employees in the workplace that an emergency facility is nearby. They usually signify the presence of emergency exits, first aid kits, or defibrillators.
Most emergency information signs use white pictograms and text on a green field, while others use green text and pictograms on a white field too. The green colour is a must.
Some emergency information signs include:
- Fire/Emergency exit
- First aid
- Emergency telephone
- Assembly area
- Emergency shower
An emergency information sign usually uses rectangular or square shapes. They can come in a variety of orientations and can have text only or pictogram only.
Fire Safety Signs
Fire signs are safety signs that point to areas where fire alarms or fire-fighting equipment are available. For these signs, they must use white text and pictograms against a red field. Note that the red field is a must.
Fire safety signs are usually big and easy to see. You can find them near or beside the equipment. To coincide with the sign, many also use red colours on the containers for the equipment.
These signs include:
- Fire alarm
- Fire alarm (Pull)
- Fire extinguisher
- Fire hose, Break glass
- This extinguisher (A/B/C/D/K)
Most fire signs don’t have a strict shape to follow but usually come in rectangular or triangular shapes.
Get Customised Safety Signs for Your Business
Knowing the various types of safety signs can be a matter of life or death in the workplace. It’s vital to have compliant safety signs to avoid miscommunication and make sure everyone is of the same understanding and following the specific rules and advice given in that location or workplace.
Are you looking for safety signs or even custom signs that you can use at work? Jennings Print has experts on-board that can help provide signs that are both compliant and easy to use. Contact one of friendly craftsmen today to provide you with all of your printing requirements for a safe workplace.