4 Overlooked Reasons to Put Up Warning Signs at Work

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Even in relatively “safe” working environments, such as small offices, there are often times when it’s necessary to keep employees and customers safe by putting up warning signs to alert them of hazards. In some instances, it’s obvious when a warning sign is needed. For example, you might put up signs letting people know a floor is wet or they’re in an area where hazardous chemicals may be present.

However, there are also times and situations when warning signs may be necessary that are easy to overlook. The following are a few key examples. Keep them in mind when deciding where to place warning signs in your workplace.

Broken Flooring

It’s possible to trip over broken or loose flooring. Don’t underestimate the potential severity of such an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five slip and falls and similar accidents results in serious injury to victims.

Business and property owners need to guard against such accidents by taking steps to eliminate hazards. If your workplace’s flooring is broken or loose, you need to repair it promptly. In the meantime, though, you can put up a warning sign. Along with preventing injury, this could help you avoid a premises liability claim or lawsuit if someone does trip over it.

Unsanitary Environments

To a reasonable degree, you need to strive to keep your workplace as clean and sanitary as possible. However, in some workplaces, it’s inevitable that certain areas may get dirty fairly often. It can be virtually impossible to constantly clean them.

That said, you can protect everyone on the premises by putting up warning signs in these areas. Make sure the warning signs indicate the nature of the hazard, and consider adding signs that encourage those nearby to wash their hands thoroughly before leaving.

Temporary Tripping Hazards

Some tripping hazards only exist for a brief period of time. For example, if employees are restocking shelves at a grocery store, they may unavoidably create tripping hazards by placing boxes and crates on the floor while doing so.

There have been instances when customers were injured because they didn’t know this work was being done and thus tripped over such hazards. Sometimes they’re able to successfully recover compensation for their injuries if they could not clearly see the hazard before encountering it. For example, if someone turned a corner and tripped over a crate that was on the ground, because they could not have seen it before their accident, they could have grounds to file a claim.

Guard against this by stocking up on warning signs you can easily set up when temporary tripping hazards are present. Make sure they’re placed in areas where everyone can clearly see them.

Confined Spaces

On some properties, there may be confined spaces that workers and customers can’t enter without permits. However, if they don’t know this, they may enter without permits and safety gear. Accidents can occur when they do.

Identify such spaces in your workplace. Make sure they’re labeled with signs telling those in the area they can’t enter without the necessary permits and equipment. If someone is injured because they ignored the signs, at least you won’t be liable.

Just keep in mind that these are merely a few examples. You should closely examine your entire working environment, making a list of all areas and potential scenarios that could warrant caution signs. Installing them is a quick and easy way to promote everyone’s safety.

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.