The construction industry is responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Over 15 workers die on the job every day, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Providing safety equipment and training is essential for all workers. It is also crucial to have proper signage across the construction site. Signs can prevent more than fatal accidents; they also alert workers to potential dangers around the site.
Types of Warning Signs
OSHA’s guidelines outline the design requirements of safety signs, the types of warning signs, and when the signs should be used for all industries. They can be classified as danger signs, warning signs, and caution signs, each showing the severity of the dangers at a construction site.
There is a safety symbol in a danger sign with an exclamation point in the middle next to the words “danger.” The word is spelled out in white capital letters on a red background.
These signs indicate the possibility of death and severe injuries and require special attention for workers to take safety precautions. Hazardous areas with immediate hazards, such as areas where high voltage can create an electrical hazard, need to be identified with danger signs.
The “warning” word is printed in black capital letters on an orange background with a safety alert symbol next to it. A warning sign denotes a situation at a construction site where the overall risk of injury and death is moderate.
It should be placed on construction sites where there is a risk of falling debris from heavy equipment, or for example if an elevator hasn’t been installed yet in an elevator shaft.
Signs with the safety alert symbol and the word “caution” are printed in black capital letters on a yellow background. Caution signs warn against not following safety practices. They can indicate hazards such as wet floors that could result in slips and falls.
Signs of biological hazards are another type of hazard classification. These signs alert workers of biological hazards such as open sewage and mold.
Five Types of Safety Signs for Construction Sites
Danger signs, warning signs, and caution signs at a construction site can keep workers safe and alert them to dangers. These are the types of signs that should be posted and seen everywhere around the construction site.
Admittance signs are posted in restricted areas where only authorized workers can enter because of the danger they pose. These signs can include wording such as “authorized personnel only.”
Fire safety signs
Fire safety signage highlights exit routes and firefighting equipment. These signs are posted near fire exits and identify the location of emergency firefighting equipment in the event of an emergency. They must not be used for emergency exits or navigation through a construction site.
General safety signs
These signs provide information regarding safety practices on construction sites, including first aid, medical equipment, and sanitation. All workers can see them in risk-free areas as reminders to stay safe and healthy while on the job.
Using simple words and symbols, these signs guide workers to general safety information around the construction site, such as directions. They do not provide information about hazards, but they help make a construction site safer by showing workers where to go.
Notice signs offer maintenance instructions, guidelines, and directives that are not related to personal injury. For instance, a notice sign can have the words “hard hat required” for construction site areas with the potential for flying objects and electrical hazards.
Where Should Safety Signs Be Placed
Potential hazards should be marked strategically so workers and other people at the construction site can take precautions and use the right safety equipment to prepare for them. According to OSHA, a sign must be readable at least 5 feet away for workers to understand it quickly. In addition, it must be as close as possible to the hazard so that workers can relate the message to the hazard.
Get in Touch with a Lawyer After a Workplace Accident
On construction sites, proper signage is important around hazards because of their dangers. Failing to post signs around hazards can result in workplace accidents leading to severe injuries and even death.
If your injury could have been avoided with proper signage, the Indiana workplace injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you with your case. Get in touch with us for a free consultation to learn more about your potential claim and how to seek compensation.