• Jan
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    How Have Workplace Safety Signs Changed Over The Years?

    Workplace Safety Signs

    Some occupational environments are more obviously dangerous than others, but safety is important for every workplace. One of the most essential workplace safety practices that have been with us for years is the posting of safety signs.  These signs may fade into the background of our consciousness after a while, but they are both important and effective. Because they are so key to workplace safety, it is also important that employers keep these signs updated. Signage requirements and recommendations have evolved over the years in order to reflect changing research on what is most effective. It is important for both employers and employees to be aware of how workplace safety signs have changed over the years.

    Most people picture an oval-shaped safety sign with the word “DANGER” printed in bold type, but those signs do not reflect best practices. Though the old style of signage remains within the guidelines and regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency is working toward the adoption of more updated standards as outlined by the most recent ANSI Z535 standards. These newer standards encompass better design and improved communications technology over the versions that have remained essentially the same since 1941. These older versions have numerous shortcomings, including:

    • They are only written in English, ignoring the need to inform those who are not literate in English.
    • They warn of danger without warning of either the consequences of interacting with the danger or how to steer clear of the danger
    • They are not as pronounced as they need to be

    Since 1941, new standards have been introduced under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private nonprofit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The standards that ANSI published in 1991 represented the most significant updates to U.S. safety sign design, using better graphics and content to make sure that the information was high visibility and more easily understood. Organizations that are dedicated to the safety of their employees will take steps to make sure that their workplaces are equipped with the most upgraded safety communications in order to keep their employees healthy and safe from hazards.

    If you have any questions about workplace safety and how it relates to an injury, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys of Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr to discuss your case.

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