Workplace Site Safety Signage Guidance
Business owners, workplaces and sites must all provide a safe and secure environment for everyone on and around premises under their control including staff, visitors, contractors and where appropriate the general public, in this article we will take a virtual risk assessment tour, look at potential risks and determine from the findings what types of signage we can mount and display which provides everyone with guidance and security whilst attending your sites. It is required by law that all employers carry out a risk assessment of workplaces under their control and where 5 or more people are employed the risk assessment must be recorded and documented.
Site Traffic Signage
Approaching your sites in vehicles it is important drivers and pedestrians fully understand where they are to attend, you will have staff that needs use the car parks, delivery drivers need to attend goods in areas, visitors need to be directed where they need to go and pedestrians must walk to their destinations in safety. Your car parks must be suitable and sufficient for all types of vehicles including (if appropriate) bicycle and motorbike parking and by law you must provide parking for the disabled and wheelchair user's as near to the reception or entrance to the building as possible, any parking bays and spaces must be signed accordingly so the drivers fully understand where they are allowed to park, for example you can mount and display accessible parking signage and visitor parking signage over the parking bays and spaces reserved for them. Do pedestrians walk to your reception through the car parks? consider this in detail as pedestrians may be walking around near moving vehicles and if not properly managed and controlled an accident could happen, consider signage which warns drivers of pedestrians, consider implementing specific routes and walkways for pedestrians to keep them away from dangers and display the appropriate pedestrian route signage for them to follow. Delivery vehicles, do delivery vehicles access your premises using the same method as your staff and visitors? if your goods in areas are at the rear of the building mount the appropriate deliveries signage around your sites to direct them where to attend.
Reporting to reception: it is just as important as ensuring your car parking signage is correct that everyone attending your sites fully understand where they must progress to upon arrival, depending on the complexity and layout of your sites your risk assessment needs to identify (if any) the shortcoming and risks of harm to others, once again if people need to walk through car parks or around vehicles to attend your reception ensure they are kept safe from vehicle movements, ensure you mount the appropriate signage for instructing them to report to the reception in clear prominent positions, where you provide accessible ramps or inclines for the disabled and wheelchair user's you must mount the appropriate wheelchair accessible signage. Building and construction site managers can mount signage instructing to report to the site office near the entrances to their sites to ensure visitors, drivers and contractors can be briefed on site safety regulations prior to being allowed on the sites, ensure the access areas to your reception of building entrance is suitable for everyone including the disabled and wheelchair user's, to provide access assistance to the reception for the disabled and wheelchair user's consider installing building access kits for wheelchair user's which allow visitors in wheelchairs attending your premises to notify you of their attendance without having to try and ring out of reach bells and intercoms.
Moving Vehicles: Around large complex sites such as manufacturing plants and industrial logistics yards there will be vehicles and pedestrians continuously moving around especially heavy goods vehicles revering and moving around loading bays, these large commercial sites often have traffic systems in place such as a one way traffic system to help ensure the safety of pedestrians from vehicles, around loading bays ensure unauthorised people are prevented from entering the loading bay areas by mounting "Warning loading bay" and "No unauthorised access" signage, where any blind spots are present around the sites for vehicle drivers near pedestrian routes you can mount "Caution pedestrians" and "Sound horn" signage which will help reduce the risks of any accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. Around loading bays where pedestrian movement is frequent consider mounting "Warning moving vehicles" and "Warning reversing vehicles" signs to adequately warn pedestrians of vehicle movements in the same areas, if space is limited for signage to be mounted on the walls consider mounting the warning signs on posts or fencing, failing that you can use stanchion signs for either a temporary or permanent solution such as "Caution reversing vehicles" post mountable signs or "Warning reversing vehicles" signs which fit onto stanchions for a permanent or temporary solution. Where your sites provide roller shutter doors for industrial vehicle access such as forklift trucks or goods vehicles it can be difficult to warn pedestrians of the vehicles but one solution is to mark the flooring with "Warning beware of moving vehicles" anti-slip floor signs which are vibrant yellow with black warning lettering so they will be clearly highly visible and seen by walking pedestrians, consider the same process around your sites where you have forklift trucks operating in the same areas as pedestrians by marking floors with "Caution forklift trucks operating in this area" anti-slip floor signage, you can choose from a complete range of moving vehicle signs which are suitable for all sites depending on the industrial vehicles involved.
Emergency vehicles: Whilst carrying out your risk assessment ensure you incorporate additional measures for the emergency services such as the fire and rescue, ambulances and the Police, the emergency services vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances may need to park as close to the building as possible regardless of the size and layout complexity of the sites, with this in mind you could provide allocated parking areas for the emergency services and mount appropriate signs such as "Emergency vehicles" signage which can be mounted on walls or doors to ensure others vehicles don't park in the allocated spaces reserved for the emergency services, you can also consider allocating parking bays outside your premises with "emergency vehicles only" parking bay signs and also mount "Keep clear for emergency vehicles" revering signs which shows the message head on and can also be seen by drivers reversing into the parking space using their rear view mirror which helps ensure the parking space is kept clear for use by emergency service vehicles.
Construction sites: Site managers have the responsibility of ensuring site traffic is managed and controlled in a good manner around building and construction sites, lorries attending the sites must be directed in the right direction to gain access to the sites entrance and at the same time the general public and other vehicle drivers must be warned of any site entrances which are concealed, all staff on building and construction sites must be made aware of construction site traffic just as much as site vehicle drivers must be made aware of pedestrians walking around the sites. You could ask both site vehicle drivers to 'proceed with caution' with signage and also display 'personnel crossing' signs so both drivers and site personnel are fully aware of each other, site managers can also add further control measures for vehicles on their sites by introducing speed restriction signage which can help ensure smooth traffic operations and movements and in turn help reduce site accidents.