The Importance of Safety Signage in the Workplace

Your business’s most valuable asset is your employees – their safety is paramount to your success. Safety signs, including first aid signage, warning signs and construction site signs, may be the difference between a productive, enjoyable workday and a terrible workplace accident.

Depending on the nature of your worksite and the type of work you do, certain safety signs are legally mandatory. Suppose your worksite is found to have failed to provide adequate signage after a workplace incident. In that case, the business owner may be held personally responsible and, in some states, may even be charged with industrial manslaughter. Every industry has different safety standards and different safety sign requirements – check out the criteria for your sector at

Different Types of Safety Signs for Your Workplace

Safety signs are one of the most important puzzle pieces that connect with adequate safety training and qualifications to build a safe work environment. Essentially, signs can save lives – whether it be warning of a hazard, explaining how to perform CPR correctly, or indicating the location of a fire extinguisher.

As one of Australia’s leading suppliers of safety signs, the Accumax team has put together a list of the different safety signs you may encounter in your workplace and their meaning:

OHS Signs / Safety Signs

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) sign control and guide safety in the workplace. Every workplace will have some OHS signs – even a quiet office building will have emergency signs pointing to the exit and the fire equipment. Before starting a new business, opening a new site or starting a new project, one of the first things to consider is the OHS signs required for the work environment.

Alert Signs – Prohibition and Mandatory

There are two types of alert signs – prohibition signs and mandatory signs.

Prohibition signs indicate what not to do. For example, “No Entry” or “No Open Flames.” These will appear with a red circle with a line through it, placed over the symbol of that activity.

Mandatory signs give workers instructions that must be followed to work onsite. Work cannot continue until the employees comply with the sign. For example, “Hearing and Eye Protection Must Be Worn In This Area.” Mandatory signs often appear with or without an image, with words in black writing on a white background. If a picture is included, it will usually be blue and white.

Hazard Signs – Hazchem, Warning Signs & Danger Sign

Hazard signs indicate that a potentially dangerous risk is in the sign area—for example, a hazardous chemical or unstable terrain. You should only ever engage with the elements that the sign warns of if you are properly trained and qualified to do so.

There are global standards for Hazchem signs and Emergency Information Panels that legally must be adhered to in every workplace. Read more about hazard signs on the Safe Work Australia website.

Warning signs are usually yellow, with a black triangle displaying the hazard. They indicate that the threat can hurt you, yet it is unlikely to kill you. For example, “Slippery When Wet.”

A danger sign warns of a hazard that has the potential to kill you. The sign has danger written at the top in a white letter in a red oval against a black background. A caution is given below the word “DANGER”, for example, “DO NOT ENTER.” Essentially, if this caution is not followed, those involved face a threat to their life.

First Aid Signage

First aid signage is essential when responding to an accident or workplace incident like an employee collapsing. First aid signs are green rectangles with white writing and graphics, for example, “Automatic External Defibrillator” or “First Aid Kit.” These signs make it easier for employees to respond quickly as they know exactly where their first aid equipment is at all times.

Fire Signs

Fire signs are red with white writing and graphics. They indicate the location of fire equipment and extinguishers.

Purchase Safety Signs for Your Business at Accumax Today!

If you have any queries regarding OHS and safety signs, please do not hesitate to contact our team, and we can help you find the appropriate signs for your business.

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