Signs are an important communication medium in the world. All security signs follow a certain format and include defined photos for everyone to recognize. This is particularly true in the workplace as signs promote safety and provide vital emergency instructions.

There are various reasons to use safety signs, some more important than others. The primary uses of safety signs are to:

  • Draw attention to health and safety issues and hazards. 
  • Supply general information and directions. 
  • Instruct and remind employees of personal protective equipment.
  • Highlight the emergency equipment location.
  • Inform what actions are prohibited or compulsory.

Basic Options for Signage

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Transportation Department have clear signs and labeling standards that include volume, colors, and text.

In the industrial environment, there are four basic options to produce signage: 

  • Permanent metal signs that will last for decades.
  • Collection signage, useful for standard signs.
  • Stencils and paint.
  • Customizable branding systems that include electronic marking and links to other essential logos and graphics.

Psychology and signage are a profound subject. There is no lack of case studies and experts add their two cents. The main lesson here is to think about every situation you’ll face really long and hard and to talk to those who have been in similar situations.

This doesn’t mean that signs should rely solely on a trained workforce. Instead, the signs should be informative, and helpful for those who are not generally familiar with an area or method. It is therefore important for security signals to be easily understood. Simple graphics or words work much better than complicated instructions. Many are typically recognizable, such as the sign of the red circular ban, but others may need to be more specific depending on the situation. 

Types of Security Signs Used in a Workplace

There are four major types of security signs used in the workplace, and they typically use the same color schemes worldwide. 

  • Red is an indicator of the potential for immediate danger, which means action must be taken, or something is simply prohibited.
  • Yellow or amber is a warning, that to ensure safety, precautionary measures should be taken. 
  • Blue is standard guidance that often follows signs of threat or alarm to ensure safety. 
  • Green is a security sign, but it does not mean any danger; it is used instead to signify an escape route or first aid.

A workplace that has an effective system of health and safety is likely to use all these signals.

Getting the appropriate signage in your workplace will significantly reduce injuries, and most countries have legislation in place that requires signs. Consequently, compliance is both beneficial and essential.