Is Your Factory Workplace Signage Compliant?
Walk into any factory in the United States, and you’ll find workplace signage. It might be a poster for emergency procedures or information about fair hours and wages. Signage is an integral part of the workplace, and employers need to be sure they’re compliant with industry and state standards for display. Does your workplace pass muster?
The type of signage you’re required to post depends on your location, the nature of your operation, and the specific area within the workplace in question. What do manufacturers need to know to keep factory workplace signage compliant?
The importance of workplace signage
While the primary purpose of workplace signage is to inform, the purpose of the information it delivers can differ. For example, signage about fair labor standards helps employees understand their rights, and hazard-focused signage informs workers about how to avoid accident or injury.
Workplace signage requires context, which is why there are different standards for where and how it’s displayed. Hanging labor posters in the break room puts this information in a central area where most workers are likely to see it. Hazard signage is displayed in applicable areas to create critical awareness.
Signage compliance standards
Hanging workplace signage isn’t just about common-sense placement. There’s no shortage of compliance standards manufacturers must be aware of, including:
- OSHA specifications for accident prevention signs and tags.
- State-specific labor signage requirements.
- Department of Labor workplace assistance materials standards.
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) signage standards.
There are also industry-specific signage requirements, such as posting Safety Data Sheet (SDS) signage where chemicals are present or hanging signage specific to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire safety standards in areas containing flammable materials.
Manufacturers need a clear understanding of signage compliance standards to make sure they’re meeting the specifications established by regulatory authorities.
Tips for staying compliant
Staying compliant with workplace signage regulations is simpler than most manufacturers realize. Most signage doesn’t change from year to year, and once it’s displayed appropriately, there’s little else to do to ensure ongoing compliance.
That said, here are a few tips to keep you from running afoul of OSHA, state inspectors, or any other organization monitoring signage in your factory:
- Make sure all signage is the correct size and shape and displayed in the proper place.
- Be sure the color of your signage is correct, and replace it if the color is significantly faded.
- Keep up to date on new iterations of essential signage and replace outdated versions.
- Make signage integrity inspections part of your regular facility maintenance approach.
- Laminate signage to extend its life, or hang it where it will be protected from exposure.
- Make sure you have signage posted in multiple languages when and where appropriate.
What’s the simplest way to maintain signage compliance? Get up to speed on placement and display guidelines established by OSHA and other regulatory organizations — and simply follow them.
Does your signage meet the criteria?
It’s easy to overlook signage as an everyday part of the factory, but it’s critical for creating a safe work environment. Make signage a focal point of your next workplace inspection and assessment, and make sure you’re relaying the right information to the right people, in the right capacity, and according to established standards.