Workplace safety should be every employer’s concern. It is indeed the duty and obligation of every employer to ensure that their workers are safe from any possible harm whilst working. The UK’s occupational health and safety laws clearly define this obligation. According to the Health and Safety Act of 1974, employees are mandated “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work” of all their employees.
In regards to workplace safety, there are different hazards, which may potentially harm employees. Examples of these include moving machines parts, processors, falling objects, gas cylinders, chemicals, explosives, heating tanks, steam, cold rooms, slippery floors, and forklifts among others. As an employer or anyone in charge of workers at a commercial setting, you must do all you can to ensure that your employees don’t fall victims to these hazards. Remember, workplace incidents and accidents cost both employer and employee greatly. An employee may suffer incapacitation or even die as a result of an accident. An employer on the other hand has to bear the cost of compensation alongside losing human capital.
Use of colored signs and labels
There are various ways through which employers can employee safety. These include machine protection and barriers, warning and cautionary signag, traffolyte labels, safety clothing and gear, and safety training among others. Signage and labels are of great importance regarding employee and worker safety. Signs and labels offer a clearly visible indication of a potential hazard or threat. This in turn helps people act to avoid the hazard and stay safe.
Because of their key role in workplace health and safety, signs and labels need to stand out in the workplace environment. An effective way to ensure visibility of signs and labels is through colour-coding. Colour not only helps people see the signs at a glance, but they can also specify the hazard. It is for this reason that employers must care to colour code their signs and labels.
There are four main colours, which are of key importance regarding workplace safety. These include red, yellow, blue and green. Below is the significance of each:
Red is usually used to indicate extreme danger or prohibition. A room with explosives or a place with extra high voltage will be marked with a red warning sign to indicate extreme danger. Entry prohibition is likewise also usually indicated in red.
Aside from danger warning and prohibition, red color is also usually used in fire extinguishers. This helps people spot them easily in case of a fire.
Yellow is used to give warning or caution. An example of this is a sign that warns people to be careful because they are in a hazardous area.
Blue is usually used to indicate mandatory instructions. These include messages like Turn Left, Clear with Security, Report to Office etcetera.
Green is usually used to mark doors and exits. Emergency exits are for example usually indicated in green color.