Trends in ... safety signs and labels
Make your message stick
Clear messaging at the point of need – that’s what safety signs and labels must always provide, according to Jackie Hahn, market content specialist for Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. “If the identification isn’t easily visible within the area of the potential hazard, employees may not see it, which makes the sign or label useless,” Hahn said.
Here, industry insiders discuss what’s new in the safety sign and label industry and how employers can help keep their workers safe.
On-demand inkjet printing and the use of color in identification are becoming more prominent. “With on-demand printing, signs and labels can be created right when the need is realized, and it allows for custom messaging for that specific facility,” Hahn said, adding that inkjet technology can produce high-resolution images with “more specific information and imagery than has been available in the past.”
Misuse of safety signs and labels generally starts from the top down. “When businesses ‘cheap out’ on safety by printing a quick message and taping it to the wall, the sign is not effective,” said Mauriah Lamia, content and social media manager for Brooksville, FL-based Accuform. “Never take shortcuts when it comes to safety and skimp out on an effective sign.”
Hahn notes that choosing the wrong sign or label material can significantly reduce its life and readability. To ensure your organization is using the correct material for the application, she recommends locating the environmental testing information on the material you’d like to use. “This information can typically be found on the material technical data sheets provided by the manufacturer,” Hahn said. “If this information doesn’t exist, then you can’t be sure that your material will survive any unique environments you may have in your facility.”
Using signs that are visible and concise is critically important, Lamia says: “If the message doesn’t stick, your workers will not remember what it says.”
Employers also should consider using safety signs and labels to address workplace diversity. “With more language diversity in the workplace, adding pictographs to identification is a common way to break any language barriers that may exist,” Hahn said.
Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association
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