Trends in ... safety signs and labels
‘Address safety issues in a timely manner’
What information should be printed on a safety sign? What’s the best material to use for a label?
Safety+Health talked with Colwin Chan, marketing director at Avery Industrial in Brea, CA, about these questions and more.
Safety+Health: Have there been recent innovations in the area of safety signs and labels?
Chan: Creating safety signs and labels onsite has been a growing trend because of the ability to address safety issues in a timely manner with customized information. Recent innovations include durable adhesive safety signs and labels that work with standard laser and inkjet printers that many facilities already have in-house. More material options have also been introduced, such as vinyl, polyester, metallic and retro-reflective films.
S+H: What do you wish employers and workers better understood about using signs and labels in the workplace?
Chan: Decision-makers should consider the required longevity of the sign or label in the specific environment to which it will be exposed. This includes whether it will be used indoors or outdoors, or in wet or dry conditions. Although paper labels are inexpensive and readily available, they won’t last in harsh conditions. The type of surface that labels will be adhered to can also make a difference. For example, low surface-energy materials like some plastics can be difficult to stick to and may require a more aggressive adhesive.
S+H: What concerns or questions are customers coming to you about safety signs and labels? What advice do you offer them?
Chan: We frequently get asked what information should go on these safety labels and signs. There are often specific standards provided by regulatory agencies such as OSHA that can be referenced.
In addition, some companies provide sign and label design software that includes OSHA-compliant templates that can be customized.
Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association
Coming next month:
- Instruments/monitors/ lone worker devices
- Fall protection