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Workplace Warning Signs that You Cannot Ignore

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A yellow caution sign warning of slippery wet floors sits on the tile floor of a restaurant

Every job requires diligence and a level of risk. The risk depends on the environment and adherence to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations. These recommendations are given to limit liability issues that come from unfortunate accidents. One of the most important guidelines pertains to placing warning signs within the workplace. For your safety, there are a few signs that you simply cannot ignore.  

Slippery When Wet

“Caution: slippery when wet” seems like an obvious statement but the sign wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t necessary. Often there is a spill at work or a freshly mopped floor that you would miss if there was not a big yellow sign warning you what was there. Everyone has either seen or biffed it themselves on a slippery surface, embarrassment grows when you look up to see a warning sign just a couple of feet away. Failure to recognize or heed the sign will lead to falls that could injure you and lead to serious liability issues.  

Lockout/Tagout

The lockout/tagout signs are crucial warnings to keep the employees and facility safe. It is a safety officer and manager’s responsibility to ensure energy sources are properly isolated and contained. This responsibility is even more important when around industrial equipment or heavy machinery. Lockout/tagout signs remind people to cut off power sources and perform proper procedures before performing maintenance. All the information you need is on the tag and you should carefully check it before ever touching the machinery it is attached to. Reading the instructions will keep you and the rest of the facility safe from harm.

Color Indicators

Color-coded signs indicate the type of danger or warning the sign is trying to convey. For example red signifies “fire”, “danger”, or “stop”; orange indicates a warning, yellow communicates caution, green and blue signify safety and notice respectively. Recognizing the color and the attached meaning will alert you to the best course of action and keep you safe.

Properly following OSHA recommendations and signs placed throughout your work environment will lead to an increased quality of your work-life environment. Failure to heed warning signs in the workplace puts you and the rest of the employees in harm’s way. To avoid this, be sure to pay attention to cautionary “slippery when wet,” lockout/tagout instructional signs, and recognize the meaning of each warning based on the color indication.

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