One of the most important and effective strategies to reduce workplace accidents and injuries is posting proper signs and posters in strategic areas around the workplace. For long-term workers and employees, some of the information on these posters might seem like common sense. However, employee retention rates are continuing to drop. A 2016 Compensation Force study found that the average total turnover for all industries stood at 17.8 percent.
The Importance Of Safety Signage
New employees obviously need to be properly trained on the safety and security protocols that come with the job tasks. While this training is most likely part of the onboarding process managed by human resource teams, posters and signs also play an important role in reminding workers (both old and new) about the important safety and health recommendations.
Quality information displayed purposefully throughout the workplace can actually help companies save money in a number of ways. Firstly, proper signs and posters can reduce potentially costly workers compensation payments if injuries were to occur. Also, complying with proper signage can also help to reduce liability should an employee attempt to bring legal action against the company due to a workplace injury or preventable accident. Lastly, by keeping your workers healthy, businesses can avoid the inevitable loss in productivity levels that comes with medical leaves of absence.
It is also important to note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) actually compels companies to post required OSHA posters in visible areas around the workplace. Below, we offer a few tips for where to place safety signs in the workplace, and the OSHA posting requirements for 2021.
The Best Places to Hang Safety Posters and Signs at Work
Employees enjoying time in the breakroom may not pay close attention to instructions on using machinery.
Displaying a safety poster for proper machine use near each machine itself is bound to be much more effective in helping to avoid accidents. When considering where to hang safety posters and signs around your workplace environment, consider the following:
- Display posters and signs in areas of high employee “traffic”. You want the information on your safety posters to be read, and the best way to achieve that is to place them where the target workers will most likely see and read that information.
In the specific case of safety posters about machine safety, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other potential workplace hazards, the posters need to be located in the area where the specific hazard could occur.
- Simple and straightforward message. Do not “overburden” your posters with a large amount of text that workers might not read. Keep the message and instructions simple and straightforward and use universal imagery whenever possible.
- Rotate your selection of safety posters. Employees will inevitably stop reading the same poster that hasn’t been updated for over a year. Even if you´re displaying the same content in the message, changing poster design and appearance every couple months will keep your employees interested and alert.
What Is The OSHA Poster And Why Do I Need It?
The OSHA Job Safety and Health: It's the Law poster is available for free from OSHA. It is an important and required poster that informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. According to the OSHA website: “All covered employers are required to display the poster in their workplace.
Employers do not need to replace previous versions of the poster. Employers must display the poster in a conspicuous place where workers can see it. If you are in a state with an OSHA-approved state plan, there may be a state version of the OSHA poster. Federal government agencies must use the Federal Agency Poster. You can order a print copy of this poster online here.
Sign Up For Workplace Safety With Work-Fit
If your company needs help choosing or designing safety posters and signs that are specific to your industry or business, you might consider hiring a third-party independent contractor. We are the nationwide leader in providing virtual and onsite injury prevention and management, ergonomics and employee wellness in the workplace. We use our sports medicine expertise to prevent injuries and protect your company's bottom line.
Our team can help your company design and locate the most appropriate safety and health posters for your business. We can also help you develop training material for your employees that reinforces the messages on the posters and signs.
Through our injury prevention programming, Work-Fit also provides customized biomechanics reminders, microbreak signage and pre-work warm-up posters specific to your company’s job demands!
If you are interested in improving your workplace health/safety and injury prevention signage, contact us today to learn about how we can help your team!