Are Safety Signs Really Necessary?

Traffic in many metropolitan areas can be nasty. Ask anyone who lives in a large city and chances are they will tell you traffic in their area is horrible and busy. This is the case in St. Louis and was most noticeable last weekend as I attempted to run errands. As I sat in stopped traffic I began to notice the number of signs around me. Some of them blinked or flashed while others were attached to the cement barriers in the median due to road construction. There were even more signs on the trucks in the actual construction area. Once I reached the shops, I noticed all of the signs in the parking lot and again inside the stores. Of course at this point the 1994 song “The Sign” by the band Ace of Base popped into my head. For a quick reminder of how the song goes, listen here. In this song the lyrics are pretty straightforward:

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign//
Life is demanding without understanding//
I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign//
No one’s gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong

Is it true that the signs we see throughout the day open our eyes to what is around us? Take a look around your workplace right now and count how many safety signs you see. Think about how many you may have passed on your commute to work today. Are all of these signs necessary to your understanding of the possible hazards you may encounter? Do they serve a purpose? Are many of these faded, handwritten reminders that are no longer appropriate? Are there some that could stand to be updated or improved? Can things be streamlined, organized and clearer? My answer to all of these is yes!

This reminds me of a story a friend told that brings a smile to my face, but also emphasizes the need for clear and concise signs. Michael was shopping with his wife in a local department store. As she was trying on some clothes he went to the restroom. Now it is a store he wasn’t very familiar with and they were doing some construction in the restroom area. Seeing no signs on the doors to the restrooms, he crossed his fingers and entered one of them. As he was in the stall, 2 ladies entered the same restroom. He overheard them saying, “I certainly hope this is the ladies room…it certain isn’t clear on the door”. At this point, to be gentlemanly and not startle the ladies, Michael said, “Same problem I had Ma’am.” Of course this brought on a rather hasty exit on the part of the ladies but it proves my point. He did say he had to explain to his wife throughout the rest of their shopping trip why he kept looking at all of the ladies’ shoes. This is just one example as to why we need signs in our life.

Let ICC Compliance Center help with all of your sign needs. We have the capability of creating and printing hundreds of different signs and using multiple languages. All of our signs are weather resistant and can be made into multiple sizes. We even have the option for some of our signs to be custom-made. Listed here are just a few we have in stock.

  1. Facility Identification: These are the signs Michael needed. They include designations for women’s and men’s areas, handicap access and phone locations
  2. Admittance and Exit Signs: We have a selection of no entry, do not enter, no trespassing, exit including fire and emergency exit and this way out or in
  3. Emergency Response / First Aid Signs: Here is a selection of signs that pertain to emergency showers or eye wash stations; emergency stop, assembly point and first aid stations
  4. Fire and Flammable Signs: Under this category there are signs for fire alarms, fire doors, fire extinguishers and fire hoses
  5. Personal Protection Signs: For this set we are talking about the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is needed for certain areas. For example, we have signs for when gloves, respirators, safety harnesses, ear protection and face shields are required
  6. Facility Signs: In this set of signs you can find ones regarding handicap access, phone locations and general cleanup

There are further categories for NFPA, smoking, pipelines, radiation and high voltage. Be proactive and lead someone to the light where they belong.