Workplace Solutions Signs/labels

Safety sign locations

How important is location to the effectiveness of safety signs?

Image: Marlin

Responding is Jude Carter, vice president, marketing, Marlin, Wallingford, CT.

Safety signage is a critical element in creating a safe environment for employees. Many factors influence the effectiveness of signs: size, visibility, clarity of message, color, visual treatment, readability and, of course, location. Typically, safety signs are located near machinery, production equipment, warehouse areas, front offices, and entrances and exits.

Many companies in manufacturing and warehouse distribution are choosing digital signage to raise awareness of safety throughout large facilities, where most workers aren’t at desks and don’t have access to computers. These electronic message boards offer a visual communication channel that can be very effective at engaging employees and reinforcing important safety protocol.

Location of digital signage has a direct impact on its effectiveness. Here are five things to consider:

  1. Your objective determines everything. Why are you installing digital signage? Is your goal to raise awareness of safety across the entire workforce? Is it to drive performance or improve quality in the factory? Consider the people you need to reach, what they need to know and where they are located. This will help you decide how many screens you need, where to put them and what content to post.
  2. Digital signage is not the same as a bulletin board. Companies often think of digital signage as a replacement for bulletin boards. They are looking for a more dynamic way to engage and inform employees. Bulletin boards are typically located in hallways where employees pass through on their way to somewhere else. To maximize the impact of your digital signage, get it out of the hallway and into those areas where employees congregate, such as break rooms and near time clocks and elevators. Workers will be more likely to take a moment to notice what’s displayed, and it’ll spark conversation with others.
  3. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Safety messages need continual reinforcement. Give your employees multiple opportunities to see dynamic messages on screens throughout your facility. If your objective is to raise safety awareness companywide, be sure to have screens in all major break rooms. If your focus is on reducing incidents in the warehouse, you’ll want to install separate screens in highly visible locations so you can reinforce forklift safety, proper use of personal protective equipment and load balancing.
  4. Consider employee foot traffic and work patterns. Once you understand your goal and your audience, do a walk-through in your facility and make sure you choose installation sites that will give your signage maximum exposure. If you have employees in an office, plant and warehouse, their work habits and patterns for taking breaks will vary considerably.
  5. Ask: Are your screens visible? Most digital signage screens offer the opportunity to display multiple messages simultaneously in different sections of the screen. This increases the chances of capturing your employees’ attention. When deciding on location, consider readability and visibility. If your electronic message board is installed in the cafeteria, but way up near the ceiling, chances are many workers won’t be able to read it.

Digital safety signage can be a great tool for improving safety awareness at your facility. For maximum success, ensure your screens are located in the right places.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)