The best way to reduce workers’ compensation insurance and commercial liability insurance costs is to create a safer work environment that reduces the number and severity of injuries. Whether your workplace is filled with hazards like a construction site or imposes minimal danger like a retail space, it is your responsibility as an employer to create the safest work environment possible.
One way to create a safer environment for employees, customers, vendors, etc. is to use safety signs to draw attention to potential hazards.
Several agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) set standards and regulations for the design, use, and placement of workplace safety signs.
Here are three things to consider when using signs to improve safety, lower injuries, and save on insurance costs:
OSHA has three classifications of signs:
- Danger Signs are used when there is an immediate danger, and special precautions are needed. These signs need to be red, black, and white.
- Caution Signs are used to warn people about potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices. Those signs need to have a yellow background and black panel with yellow letters. Letters placed on yellow backgrounds need to be black.
- Safety Instruction Signs are used for general instructions and suggestions regarding safety measures. These signs need to have a white background, green panel, and white letters, and any letters on a white background must be black.
Signs should be placed where they can be read from a safe viewing distance, so people have time to prepare to enter or avoid the area. If needed, safety signs should be displayed with illumination or retro-reflectiveness so they can be read under normal operating conditions.
Signs should NOT be placed on or next to moveable objects such as doors and windows and should NOT be a distraction or create a hazard. Safety signs need to be protected from damage.
Signs should be used in these areas:
- where there is a risk of injuries such as uneven ground or the risk of falling objects
- where personal protective equipment is required
- where equipment poses a threat such as loud machines that can cause hearing loss
- where dangers aren’t visible or apparent such as around radiation or irritating chemicals
- where equipment such as forklifts and mobile cranes are used
- where potentially dangerous substances are located
- where there is asbestos, where it is suspected to be, or where it has been recently removed
Keep your messages concise and straightforward and easy to read, so people are quickly alerted to potential dangers. Use vivid colors, so your signs stand out even in busy areas.
Use symbols, diagrams, and images where possible to bridge any language barriers. Lettering should be large enough that a person with normal vision can read the sign at a distance where they still have time to prepare for or avoid potential danger.
Safety signs are a cheap and easy way to alert employees, customers, vendors, etc. to potential hazards, which should reduce the number and severity of injuries and help lower your workers’ comp and liability insurance costs.
Want to Discover More Ways to Save on Commercial Insurance Costs?
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