June is being recognized as National Safety Month to raise awareness of safe practices in a variety fields. While all types of jobs present safety risks, construction sites have extremely high annual rates of incidents. Out of almost 4,000 worker fatalities that occurred in 2013, nearly 800 took place on construction sites, according to The Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
Use signage to promote construction site safety
Because of statistics like these, construction professionals should be vigilant about promoting safety among workers. Throughout June, there are a number of ways to start a discussion on risky versus secure behaviors.
One of the best ways to promote safety and decrease dangerous workplace incidents is by using signs. According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine, an effective signage program not only serves to increase safe practices, but it’s also been shown to increase worker productivity. Some examples of helpful signage include notices that remind employees to use protective eyewear, clear labels on equipment and machines and clearly marked entrance and exit points. Overall, you should aim for your signs to be directional, instructional and informative.
Create an effective signage program
The source explained that many organizations believe they have good signage, when really their sites are ripe with safety hazards. Because labels and markers on frequently used tools or surfaces often become faded or covered, it’s important that construction managers pay close attention to the visibility of these notices and work around the clock to make sure these safety messages are exposed. Signage should be created with four elements in mind: visibility, noticeability, legibility and readability.
For optimum visibility, make sure the sign’s font and its background are clearly discernable. Try to use bright and relevant colors to ensure people notice these messages. In addition to being visible, signs must be readable, so don’t use designs or phrases that are difficult to comprehend. When trying to improve readability, try using the classic construction color combination of yellow and black, which OHS magazine noted has been proven to be the most readable mix of tones.
The sign’s noticeability lies in its size, placement, shape and magnitude of the message’s font. The source explained that you should try to keep signs perpendicular, since parallel signage tends to be missed more often. Adding a border helps make the posting more noticeable and serves to reemphasize the message.
To make your sign legible, choose simple, clean font. Make sure the words aren’t placed too close together or too far away, and have operative words printed largely. If people need to get close to the sign to know what it’s for, it hasn’t been designed effectively.