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Understanding mandatory safety signs

Within any workplace, there are going to be risks. It’s part and parcel of running a business and having employees. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to take actions in order to minimise these. Mandatory safety signs are one such way this can be done effectively. Alongside other signs options including Fire Safety Signs and First Aid Signs, these designs pass across must-follow information to guests and employees. This blog will look at what signs fall into this category and how they should be used in different workplaces.

What are mandatory safety signs?

These blue and white signs have been designed to prescribe specific behaviours and/or give a specific direction. They are there to provide must-do information to visitors, guests and employees. Mandatory signs visually show the action that is required by all users in an attempt to minimise or eliminate the risk of injury. They form part of the four main types of safety signs and should be used in conjunction with these to offer clear guidance to anyone that enters your business.

What messages do they convey?

Depending on the industry in question, the precautions that need to be taken will differ. Mandatory signs are designed to meet all needs, with a variation of messages and designs available. Some examples of common options include:

  • Use Hand Sanitiser – Informs people of the need to use proper hand washing/sanitising techniques in a designated location.
  • Wear Ear Protectors – Informs people of the need to wear protective PPE for ears to prevent injury due to excessive noise.
  • Eye Protection Must Be Worn – Informs people of the need to wear PPE for eyes to prevent injury from wayward flying particles or other threats in construction/manufacturing environments.
  • Masks Must Be Work In This Area – Informs people of the need to wear masks in a designated area for the health & safety of everyone.

These are just a small selection of the types of mandatory signs available on the market. There are hundreds of options, all made to suit specific needs within a workplace.

How to establish if your business needs mandatory signs

As with all safety sign use, you need to first establish where the hazards are within your workplace. A risk assessment is the best way to do this. It allows you to take a walking tour of the premises, speak to employees and understand the locations where risk is high. These are the spots where safety signs come in handy. Our tips for this are:

  • Identify the points of hazard or risk in an area.
  • Establish whether there is a way to eliminate this risk entirely.
  • If not, establish how this risk can be significantly reduced. This may be through a change in process, greater access to PPE or safety signs.
  • If using signs, make sure to establish the clearest way to get a message across. Too many signs will have information crossing over and cause people to become confused. This will hinder any attempt to improve safety.
  • Choose signs that are clear, abide by the ISO 7010 and can be installed on the surface required.
  • Re-address your risk assessment regularly. Situations in workplaces are constantly evolving and you need to ensure the information you have isn’t out of date.

For more information on how mandatory safety signs can improve your workplace, get in contact with our team here today.