Top Five Reasons Why SABS Approved Safety Signs Are Important
The consequences of an unsafe workplace are significant. An employee can die, suffer permanent physical injuries or psychological trauma. The effects of a dangerous work environment affect employers as well. That’s why having the right safety signs throughout the workspace is critical to keep employees safe and employers away from legal cases.
In some workspaces, it's clear what kind of safety signs are required. Still, in others, you may need a health and safety professional to help you determine potential harm and the need for a safety sign you may have missed. As an employer, the law requires you to install the right signs and tags to keep people safe.
Once you begin your research, you’ll find that the variety of safety signs available is enormous. While some signs are common, there are others you may have never considered. But, these signs could be essential for your workspace.
It’s your best bet to follow the South African Bureau of Standards or SABS guidelines for installing suitable safety-signs. This would help you maintain safety standards and promote quality in workplace safety. In this article, you will learn how vital these signs are and why investing in them should be a critical part of your organisation’s plan.
1. Safety signs keep people aware of the hazards.
Although you can assign people to keep employees safe, it’s impossible to have eyes everywhere within your company. With SABS-approved safety signs, you can draw the attention of anyone who comes into the workspace and be aware of dangers. These can include visitors who are not familiar with the environment. Suppose you have hired non-English speaking employees to work within the company. In that case, non-verbal prohibitory signs and hazard warning signs are essential to keep these employees safe when there is a communication barrier.
2. Safety signs remind people of the required safety gear.
Safety signs work as an authoritarian reminder to wear safety gear. Such signs help first-time visitors who do not know about the dangers that may occur if they don’t wear safety gear. They also work as reminders to employees who are reluctant to wear safety gear because it isn’t comfortable or practical. The type of safety gear varies, depending on the environment. With safety signs, you can specify the exact personal protective equipment you expect visitors and employees to wear, including gloves, hats, glasses, hearing protection, masks, safety shoes, or a high-visibility jacket.
3. Safety signs are beneficial during an emergency.
Even health and safety professionals may struggle to determine what they need to do during an emergency. When a blazing fire or a horrible accident has left an employee screaming in pain, the people around may find themselves unable to help due to shock.
Safety signs play a considerable role in assisting people during emergencies. Fire fighting signs can teach newbies how to use a fire extinguisher. Simultaneously, photoluminescent signs near an elevator can remind people not to use it during a fire. Arrows can lead people out of the building, and a fire blanket sign could save a person from suffering first-degree burns.
4. Safety signs ensure everyone practices precaution.
Prevention is better than care may be an overused statement, but it is an essential mantra for a workspace environment. It’s impossible to have someone who is constantly on the lookout for all possible trouble. Thus, general information signs are critical to ensure that visitors and employees practice precaution in certain rooms or during specific procedures.
Safety signs remind employees and teach first-time visitors they cannot perform particular actions as they could lead to injury or death. Helpful signs that fall under this category include reminding employees to wash their hands, avoid drinking water from the tap, wearing safety gear, and keeping an area clear in case of an emergency.
5. Safety signs keep employers safe from legal trouble.
Selfishly but as necessary, safety signs keep employers safe from legal danger. Suppose an employer does not hang mandatory signs. In such a case, if an employee or a visitor suffers an injury or worse, they can open a legal case against the employer.
The consequences of such cases are significant. Many instances show the repercussions that come when an employer is negligent. Safety signs keep employers safe from the legal issues they may incur. They also keep them safe from the guilt and mental struggles they may experience if someone gets hurt within their organisation because of a lack of proper signage.
The importance of ticking off all the safety precautions
Following the SABS standards and OHS Act of 1993 will ensure that your employees have the essential knowledge and gear to practice health and safety. Safety signs provide instant non-verbal communication to anyone who enters the premises. Some employees might take these signs for granted or dismissed. But they are essential during emergencies and can provide life-saving instructions during critical moments. As a South African employer, you must have SABS safety signs to protect yourself legally and keep employees and visitors safe.