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UpdatesJul 08, 2020

What’s in a sign?

3 mins read

Due to COVID-19, we are now all very familiar with the sight of signs around our workplaces and social environments, warning us of the dangers of the virus and the steps that must be taken to prevent its spread. But how have we managed before now without a multitude of signs to warn us dangers in the workplace?

Signage, although at the bottom of the hierarchy of controls, may in fact be an extremely effective and important tool for managing risks in the workplace. Whether it relates to emergency exit signage or more signage for a traffic management plan, the fact is that signs do provide a useful mechanism to guide and instruct your workforce on how to safely manage risks at the worksite and warn them of dangers.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights both the benefits and downsides of signage. There is no doubt that the signs for COVID-19 have been clear and effective in their messaging. Large adhesives on public transport seating leaves no doubt as to where a person should safely position themselves. But signage can also lead to complacency – see too many signs regarding hand-washing and the mind may start to fade out the message.

What should your organisation do?

You will need to assess the risks at your workplace to identify areas where signage will assist in guiding and warning your workers.

Some key areas where signage is needed include:

When it comes to preparing signage, you can use the resources provided in the Australian Standards. But also keep in mind the following simple guidelines:

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