According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private businesses across the country reported 2.8 million workplace injuries in 2019. These can occur on account of many different reasons, but often, they happen because people don’t understand the danger of a situation.
The right safety signs can help give people the knowledge they need to stay safe in the office, their cars, and as they go about their lives. But what do some of the most common signs mean?
Keep reading for a guide that will help you understand some of the different safety signs in the workplace and on the road.
Workplace Safety Signs
Workplace safety signs are meant to keep you and your employees safe. By having a clear understanding of the different signs and their meanings, you’ll be able to decide on which signs your workspace should have.
1 . Prohibition Signs
Prohibition signs are one of the most common safety instruction signs that you’ll run into. They tell people or workers things that they can’t do. To get the point across, they feature some sort of a picture, then a red circle with a diagonal line on top.
Some of the most common variations include no entry signs, which block off certain areas of a building or complex to people, and no smoking signs, which designate areas where people can’t smoke.
2 . Mandatory Signs
While prohibition signs tell you things to avoid doing, mandatory signs tell you things that you must do. Failing to follow the instructions mentioned can lead to you getting hurt.
Mandatory signs are often blue and white signs. Common situations where you might find them include your employer requiring you to wear foot or eye protection to enter a part of a building.
Although mandatory signs often feature pictures in the center, some variations come with a single, instructive word.
3 . Warning Signs
Most people see warning signs on a daily basis. These are often yellow, with black text or pictures on them. They warn people that although conditions aren’t life-threatening, the possibility of injury does exist.
SLIPPERY WHEN WET is a recognizable sign that you can see anywhere from a nuclear power plant to an ice-cream shop. Make sure to read the sign, take note of the warning, and keep yourself safe.
4 . Danger Signs
Warning signs let you know about conditions that can hurt you, but danger signs take it a step further. These signs let you know that the conditions you may experience could be life-threatening or hazardous.
Many people are familiar with the white and bold DANGER text in a red oval. Common variations include DO NOT ENTER and HIGH VOLTAGE. Follow the instructions carefully, as the consequences or repercussions of not listening may be deadly.
Road Safety Signs
Aside from obvious signs, such as stop signs and speed limit signs, there are some others that you’ll also have to watch out for while driving. Here are four road safety signs you might come across while on the road.
1 . People at Work Signs
Many people underestimate how dangerous of a job road construction can be. Yet construction workers work, often in extreme conditions, on roads and highways as cars zoom by them. People at work signs help keep them safe.
People at work signs are orange, since it’s one of the more noticeable colors, and feature a person with a shovel. Often, DETOUR and ROAD WORK AHEAD signs accompany them. Make a point to take it slow to keep all parties involved safe.
2 . Deer Crossing Signs
When you’re driving on country roads or the highway, you’ll most likely come across a deer crossing sign from time to time. These signs alert you and other drivers that you’re driving through areas that are known to have large populations of deer.
White-tailed deer weigh over 100 lbs and can be up to four feet tall. Aside from taking the animal’s life, hitting one of these animals can also cause substantial damage to your car, and in extreme cases, lead to injury or death.
3 . Keep Right Signs
If the road you’re driving on narrows on account of obstructions or dividers, keep right signs let you know about the changes to help you stay safe. These signs are white, featuring a black arrow and a shape that looks like a shield.
Although referred to as “keep right” signs, these signs can also encourage you to keep left, depending on the particular type of obstruction. Pay attention to the road conditions and the sign to make sure that you follow the necessary instructions.
4 . Emergency Vehicle Warning Signs
Emergency vehicle warning signs are one of the least well-known road safety signs, but also one of the most important. They alert you to nearby ambulance stations, fire stations, and other places where emergency vehicles might jump out onto the road with little to no warning.
These signs are yellow, with a black emergency vehicle in the center. When passing through these areas, make a point to be extra vigilant in case an emergency vehicle pulls out. You should also avoid pulling over to ensure that they can exit the station if necessary.
Stay Safe and Watch Out for the Different Safety Signs
Whether you’re at work, driving on the road, or just going about your day to day life, you should always keep your eyes peeled for any safety signs. By understanding what each one of them means, you’ll be able to act appropriately, helping ensure that you and others stay safe.
Did you learn about a new safety sign you weren’t aware of before? If so, check out some of our other articles for more helpful and informative articles.