Safety signs can be found in various establishments to convey information that people need to see and understand to stay safe and compliant. Safety signs in Australia aren’t much different from the safety signs available globally. Here are some of the safety signs commonly used in Australia.
- Laboratories for science
- Medical services
- Warehouses and factories
- Commercial and office buildings
- Educational establishments
- Retail and entertainment establishments
- Any public place
Safety signs and symbols are used to instruct people on what they should and should not do, warn people of hazards, and alert and direct people to a specific area. When displaying safety signs correctly, each country has its own rules and regulations for all safety signs in Australia, the Hazchem system and AS 1319 is used.
However, because most countries adhere to a similar standard, they are widely accepted, recognized, and understood. This blog post looks at the four most common types of safety signage, how its color can identify each, and why they’re essential in the workplace.
What are the four different kinds of safety signs?
Prohibition, caution, mandatory, and emergency signs are the four types of safety signs. Each category must have a distinct color scheme and format so that people can quickly and easily identify them.
There are hundreds of safety signs on the market, and a workplace most likely has at least a dozen of them.
Knowing the category at a glance makes these signs easier to interpret and, more importantly, easier to respond to or react to. Ensuring that one’s team understands the different safety signs and the required action, instruction, or behavior improves workplace safety and compliance.
- Prohibition signs
Prohibition signs are typically used to convey prohibited behavior or actions. A red-outlined circle with a red diagonal cross is used on prohibition signs. The pictogram is usually accompanied by simple text, such as NO ENTRY or NO DOGS. NO SMOKING signs are one of the most common examples one is likely to encounter in their daily life.
These prohibition signs can be found in various locations, including gas stations, shopping malls, schools, and bars, to name a few.
- Caution signs
Caution signs alert people to a hazard that is either nearby or a potentially dangerous incident. They can be physical, such as warning people of pedestrians or cyclists, or chemical, such as toxic or hazardous waste.
Caution signs are typically yellow with black, bold pictorials, or text. The signs are sometimes triangular, but it is more common to have a pictogram in a triangular symbol on a rectangular sign. Some common warning signs are:
WHEN WET FORKLIFTS ARE IN USE, THEY ARE SLIPPERY.
- Mandatory signs
Mandatory signs remind individuals to wear specific personal protective equipment (PPE). This type of signage can also convey instructions to follow, requirements to meet, or acceptable behavior.Mandatory signs are usually accompanied by text and have a blue background with white pictorials.
Because PPE is essential when working with hazardous chemicals, one may notice mandatory signs near stored chemicals.Signs that are commonly used include:
A FACE MASK IS REQUIRED, or SAFETY GOGGLES SHOULD BE WORN IN THE AISLE
4. Emergency warning signs
Emergency signs are indications that action or instruction is required. They can also direct a person to a location such as fire exits, emergency phones, or first aid kits in an emergency. Emergency signs have a green background and include text, a pictogram, or both.
What are the nine hazard symbols?
Hazard symbols are commonly found on various types of signage, such as Emergency Information Panels (EIPs). EIPs contain essential information that anyone entering a site, workplace, or property can easily recognize and distinguish. On health and safety hazard signs, the nine hazard symbols indicate when a substance may potentially:
- Be flammable
- Be oxidizing
- Be explosive
- Be toxic
- Be corrosive
- Be a dangerous gas under pressure
- Have serious health consequences
- Have mild health consequences
- Be a danger to the environment
These are some of Australia’s safety signs and symbols to ensure maximum safety.