Slips and falls are two of the most common types of workplace accidents, and a very effective way to mitigate them is proper safety communication.
It is the employer’s responsibility to communicate on-the-job risks and how each one ought to be handled. Because of this, safety signage in a workplace is crucial, as it is one of the visible and easy to understand.
Types of Signs
With safety signs becoming highly prevalent in the workplace over the year, regulation and standardization have unified the approach to the area of hazard communication, with OSHA being the principal that oversees workplace safety signage.
Under OSHA guidelines, there three kinds of safety signs: danger, caution and instruction.
Danger Signs deal with a potentially hazardous scenario that, if not averted, will cause serious injury or death. According to OSHA, this type of sign must have a white “DANGER” on a red background and a black outline border on its upper panel. The lower panel provides additional information using black letters on a white background.
Caution signs are used to indicate the potential for minor or moderate injury. Under OSHA guidelines, caution signs must be yellow. On the top half of the sign, the word “CAUTION” should appear in yellow letters on a black background. On the bottom panel, black lettering should be used to spell out additional information.
Instruction signs are used to convey safety-related information or best practices associated with working safely. On the top panel, “SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS” should be written in white on a green background. The bottom panel should contain specific information in black letters on a white background.
Other Ways to Prevent Slips and Falls
In addition to signage, there are a number of other steps that ought to be taken to prevent slips and falls.
Good housekeeping is important to preventing slips and falls. If your company’s cleaning habits are poor, you are likely seeing an unnecessarily high incidence of worker injuries, rising insurance costs and unnecessary citations. If your facilities are clean and organized, it is likely translating to a more effective overall safety program.
Wet or slippery surfaces are the cause of a considerable percentage of injuries, according to state agencies. The most commonly reported surfaces where these injuries happen are walkways, parking lots, cooking areas and showers.
Walkways and parking lots ought to be kept clean and in good condition. When snow and ice are on the ground, they must be eliminated or otherwise treated. In some situations, use of the area should be restricted. Anti-skid striping material or paint ought to be used wherever possible.
Although difficult, it is also important to curtail unsafe behaviors. This can be done by developing a culture that truly puts safety first. Management must model safe behaviors and be willing to call out employees for taking potentially dangerous shortcuts, even if those shortcuts result in higher productivity.
We Fully Support All Hazard Communication Compliance
At NSC, we work with our clients to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our respective organizations. Please contact us today to find out how we can support safety at your company.