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Be safe with signage

05 July 2018

Signs that help improve our safety are everywhere and are often taken for granted despite their importance.  Some are far more important than others, such as in workplaces where they are required by law to ensure employee safety.  From signs that advise to signs that direct, they’re all around us and play their part in keeping us safe.  Read on to find out more…

Small but necessary
A sign to keep you safe doesn’t always have to be huge, in your face and coloured red for maximum impact.  It can be as simple as some vinyl lettering.  For example, if you have premises with a step and a low ceiling, you might want lettering above the area, ‘Mind your head’.  Likewise, if there’s a very low step that could cause people to trip, you can apply vinyl lettering to the floor, ‘Mind the step.’  Where there’s potential for an accident, a sign to highlight the risk is always necessary, hence the importance of risk assessments. 

The right direction
For businesses or premises with parking facilities and a high volume of traffic coming and going, directional signs are vital to maintain good flow of traffic and minimise any accidents. From directional arrows and one-way signs to larger signs that communicate entrances or exits for different vehicles, we can produce all manner of signs in line with the business needs.  These requests usually come to us via a designated Health & Safety Officer or Facilities Manager, whose job it is to ensure the correct signage is displayed, in the right places. 

When signage is law
Within workplaces, it is law for businesses to provide safety signs if a significant risk cannot be controlled in any other way.  This forms part of the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 which states signs must be clear, legible and should communicate prohibited actions, safeguarding measures, hazard warnings and directions.  Too many signs can cause confusion, but we work alongside businesses who already have a professional designated to highlighting where the signage is needed.  We cannot advise but we do make high quality signage that ticks all the boxes for what’s needed, and as long as they are looked after, will last a few years too.

The colours of safety signs
Did you know?  Safety signs are split into groups, depending on their aim.  They are designed to warn, prohibit, mandate and get people to safety, and each has indentifiable shape and colour.  Warning signs are yellow as yellow is one of the most visible colours the human eye notices, making it good for informing of potential hazards. Safety signage that warns comes in a yellow triangle or diamond shape.
Signs that communicate prohibition are red as it’s a colour that’s less likely to weaken as it travels through air, including in rainy and foggy conditions. Humans are programmes to respond to red as we associate with danger. Any prohibition signs are always in a circle shape.
Blue is chosen for instructional signage as it has links to wisdom and intelligence. It’s also a colour associated with power, so we will likely follow and take the information on board.
Finally, all signs associated with getting people to safety are green and in a square shape. Green is deemed a ‘nice’ colour and has connotations of the earth and peace, a great choice for thinking safety. But from a scientific viewpoint, white text on a green background is one of the easiest to recognise and read – perfect for a sign that has the potential to save your life.

If you are looking to update your safety signage at your premises, or perhaps you have a new building and new all new safety signage producing, contact us for an initial discussion or estimate.  While we’re not safety signage specialists per se, we have produced plenty of safety signs for our North West customers, at very competitive prices. 
It’s worth giving us a call on 0161 864 2688 to talk through any safety signage you need.    



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RW Signs Limited

2a Jackson Street



M32 8AY

+44 (0) 161 864 2688