Identifying and Understanding Safety Hazard Signs

Effective symbols that are used to indicate the risk associated with any specific work area, material or equipment are recognized as Safety Hazard Signs. The key purpose of installing Safety Hazard Signs at the right positions in a worksite is to reduce the risk probability.

But to obtain the maximum benefits from these graphical or pictogram symbols, it is essential to learn about their identification, the warning depicted by the sign and quick action taken after understanding the threat.

In this enlightening article, we will discuss the frequently used Safety Hazard Signs at a worksite, the message communicated by them and preventive measures taken after realizing the status of potential risk.

Know about the main Hazard Safety Signs & the message conveyed by them –

To make the employees and public aware of the potential risks and prevent them before turning into severe accidents, the given Hazard Safety Signs help proficiently.

  1. Flammable Signs –

These symbols are equipped at the locations or on the machinery that can ignite a flame or spark. With the image of “Flames” in sharp black color, the flammable hazard safety signs keep the unaware or non-professionals away from the risky spaces of a worksite.

  1. Explosion Signs –

Some industries are highly prone to detonation as they utilize explosive substances in bulk quantities. It can be a mining location, crackers’ factory, construction site, blasting operation area and storage area of the explosive substances etc where you can easily find the signs of ‘bursting graphics’. Explosion signs inform the public and employees to stay alert and not carry any combustible items to these locations.

  1. Biohazard Signs –

A trefoil-shaped black-colored sign depicted on the bright yellow color is recognized as a Biohazard Safety symbol. This symbol is utilized at the locations that carry the threat of bacteria, viruses and other harmful pathogens that exert a severe impact on human health. Usually, the laboratories and areas where medical waste is dumped must be equipped with Biohazard Signs.

  1. High Voltage Signs –

Electricity can cause extremely severe accidents if the wires or equipment carrying high voltage are mishandled by the workers. The jagged lines symbol ‘High Voltage” convey to the passerby and workers that, ‘Do not touch or mishandle the wires and machinery as they are carrying the strong current.’ Due to fulfilling the basic need for electricity at all kinds of worksites, one can witness the High Voltage hazard safety signs easily & frequently.

  1. Radioactive Signs –

Another trefoil-shaped sign crafted on the dark yellow background denotes the radioactive danger. Such signs are present in industries where radiation is utilized to manufacture required material, some specific medical areas where radiology equipment is placed and research labs etc.

  1. Under Construction Signs –

The construction zones always remain highly prone to massive risks for several reasons such as the sudden fall of heavy slabs and pillars, voltage breakdowns, gas leaks, slip & fall of human workforce, forklift accidents and elevator shaft accidents etc. Therefore installing ‘Under Construction’ signs is mandatory to convey a heads- up message for the passerby.

How can a workplace authority make the Hazard Safety Signs more effective?

The simplest yet effective hazard safety signs can infuse major alertness among workers and passersby. Here are the top tricks to correctly equip these signs.

  • Place the clear symbols at required positions in a workplace and equipment but avoid over-occupying the place with unnecessary safety signs.
  • The signs should be bold, big, and clear enough to understand the precise message conveyed by them.
  • The distance between the placing of signs and the source of potential risk should be nearly negligible. It should not be placed too far from the risk-carrying area.
  • Use pictographs or diagrams to alert the employees as language can be a barrier to understanding the information.
  • Always use bright color symbols and bright contrasting backgrounds while picking the best hazard safety signs.
  • The signs should be ANSI-approved.
  • In the outdoor areas use durable hazard safety signs made up of any rigid or hard material.
  • Frequent upgradation of the workplace with safety signs is important. The authority liable for the safety of the site should remove the outdated signs to lessen miscommunication and errors.

How should the workers and the public respond to the hazard safety signs?

Not only the right placing of the appropriate safety symbols is enough to effectively prevent the workplace from potential risk but thorough guidance to the users is also required.

Here are the tips that belong to the basic understanding of the safety signs.

  • Learn about the color codes of safety signs and act accordingly. For example – Red denotes Danger & High Risk, therefore one should stop approaching that area or equipment.
  • If you confront any new hazard safety sign during the accident and are unable to understand it, focus on the graphical presentation of the symbol instead of reading the information on it.
  • Attend the guiding sessions organized for the ‘development of Hazard Safety Signs’ understanding.’
  • Along with having information about the safety signs, you must learn the tools, materials and clothes for keeping yourself safe from the hazard.

What benefits do the hazard safety signs add to an industry, manufacturing unit or any other organization?

Though the safety aspect of equipping hazard safety signs at the workplace is comprehensible, there are a lot of jobs that a symbol does at the worksite.

Take a quick look at those additional roles of Hazard Safety Signs.

  • A silent or visual communicator – Due to featuring clear pictures of symbols, the safety signs pave the safe way for the employees even in the absence of a professional guiding team. These signs also lessen the excess burden on the workers to inform or guide their fellow workers. It makes the organization more efficient and productive.
  • A legal requirement of the workplace – According to the Health & Safety Regulations 1996, hazard safety signs are a legal requirement of the work sites. Their absence can damage the reputation of the workplace and cause the risks of regulatory fines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) –

Q – What are the hazard safety symbols?

A – The signs that communicate the risk associated with the specific areas or equipment are considered hazard safety signs.

Q – How do these signs are represented?

A – With the help of graphical presentation, pictograph and precise bold & large information, these signs depict the level of risks and their impact on human life.

Q – How to understand the meaning of hazard safety signs?

A – By learning about the color codes and quickly reading the information written on them, one can understand the risk and act in an alert mode.