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How To Choose Australian Safety Signs
Safety signs help reduce the occurrence of injuries and accidents in the workplace. Signs may warn of dangers, prohibit activities, or help workers and visitors find first aid and firefighting facilities.
So, how do you choose the right safety signs for a business in Australia? Review the Australian standard covering safety signs and identify the areas of your workplace that may require signage.
What Are Australian Standards for Safety Signs?
Australian Standard AS1319-1994 was developed by Standards Australia Limited to regulate and control the use of safety signs for warning of hazards and providing emergency information.
The standard does not include specifications for required material or sizes. However, AS1319-1994 does recommend that symbols measure at least 15 mm per metre of viewing distance.
For example, to maintain the visibility of a sign at five metres, the symbol should measure at least 75 mm (7.5 cm).
AS1319-1994 also provides descriptions and recommendations for different types of safety signs, including:
- Prohibition signs
- Mandatory signs
- Restriction signs
- Danger signs
- Warning signs
- Emergency information signs
- Fire signs
At Wilcox Safety & Signs, we carry signs, posters, labels, and other products to help you comply with Australian Standards and recommendations from Safe Work Australia. You can view and order your Australian Safety Signs here.
Identify Hazardous Conditions
Identify any hazards in your workplace and prominently display an appropriate sign. Depending on the severity of the hazard, you may need to use danger signs or warning signs.
According to Australian Standard 1319-1994, danger signs are used to highlight potentially life-threatening hazards, such as high voltage current areas, confined spaces, and other conditions that require specific safety protocols.
Warning signs are used for non-life-threatening hazards and may direct workers on how to safely navigate the hazard. For example, warning signs are often used in warehouses to remind workers to always face the ladder when ascending or descending.
Use First Aid and Fire Signs
First aid and fire signs help direct workers and visitors to essential safety equipment. First aid signs next to first aid kits to ensure that people can find supplies in the event of an emergency. Fire signs may direct individuals to the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarms.
Along with fire aid and fire signs, you may use emergency information signs to direct individuals to exits and other safety equipment.
Review Mandatory and Prohibited Behaviours
Some workplaces may need to restrict or require specific behaviours. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses often display signs prohibiting direct physical contact or mandating that individuals stay at least 1.5 metres apart.
According to AS1319-1994, the message on a mandatory sign needs to incorporate the word “MUST.” Prohibition signs contain white backgrounds and include a red circle with a slash.
After identifying the dangers, warnings, and messages that you need to communicate to workers and staff, the next step is to order your signs.
Wilcox Safety & Signs has all your signage needs covered. Your workplace may also benefit from other safety products, including labels, tapes, tags, and posters. View our complete range of safety signs and products or request a custom safety sign design to meet your safety requirements.