Across all Australian construction sites, warning and safety signs can prevent accidents and even fatalities to both workers and the general public.
But what is the point of having safety signs if we do not understand the symbols on them? Safety signage around the workplace is important as it not only communicates foreseeable danger or warning; it informs workers on the construction site of the correct safety procedures to follow in order to stay safe from harm or what to do in the case of emergency.
In our White Card online training course, we address all the forms of signage that workers will see and need to know about on the construction site and how they can prevent injuries.
1. Safety Signs
Safety signs are a crucial part of maintaining a safe workplace, both for construction workers on the worksite and for the general public. Safety signs are effective in communicated messages quickly, even with those who speak little to no English. For example, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) signs easily demonstrate that certain equipment must be worn because of the picture of the man wearing the equipment, i.e.: man wearing ear muffs, man wearing safety glasses. Knowing what each sign means or is trying to communicate is vital to keeping safe on your construction site.
2. Categories and Colour Codes
Colour is the most crucial aspect of a safety sign and communicates information more effectively than text as it has a greater impact on our brain. As a result, safety signs are labeled in different colour categories depending on the context. The colour categories include:
• ‘No’ symbol signs: These signs feature a bright red circle with a diagonal line through the centre. They are designed to inform when something is not allowed.
• Red category signs: These signs have a red background with the word ‘DANGER’ at the top with a black boarder. These are designed to attract attention and convey an important message.
• Blue category signs: These signs are instructional, with the word ‘NOTICE’. The directions of the sign must be followed. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) signs also come under the blue category.
• Orange category signs: These signs inform that security access is needed in a particular area.
• Yellow category signs: These signs are designed to indicate workers to take caution. They are marked with the word ‘WARNING’.
• Green category signs: These are used on First Aid Signage and Emergency Evacuation signs. These indicate SAFETY.
• Black and white category signs: These signs indicate general information and include messages such as ‘No Entry, Authorised Personnel Only, No Access, No Thoroughfare’ etc.
3. Additional Signs
Used in Construction Industry besides the aforementioned signs above, there are several other safety signs or symbols that you may encounter on the construction site.
• Out of service tags: These tags indicate that a particular piece of machinery or equipment is faulty or out of service and needs maintenance and/or repairs before it will be safe to use.
• Fire signs: These signs are used to indicate the location of fire extinguishers, fire hoses and fire blankets on the construction site.
• Exit signs: Green signs with the word ‘EXIT’ or with a left arrow with a man leaving through a door. They indicate where to exit on a construction site.
By completing our White Card online training course, you will be able to recognise and interpret all of the signs on the construction website, keeping yourself, your co-workers and the general public safe from danger or potential injury.
To find out more about our White Card Online course, click here.