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Don't think safety signs are important? These three examples will change your mind

by , 20 May 2014
Safety signs indicate any potential hazard, obstacle or condition that needs special attention.

You must place them in high risk areas to alert employees and visitors of possible hazards or danger zones.

If you don't, you're breaking the rules of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). As a result, you'll face a fine or six months in jail.

Here are three examples that show just how important safety signs are so you can comply with the OHSA.

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Do you want to be fined, jailed or have a criminal record for life?

If an accident occurs in your workplace, and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or 2 years in jail! The CEO or Owner of a company is personally accountable for health and safety at work.

Click here for the three things you must prove to establish your innocence.

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Don't have safety signs in your workplace? Perhaps these three examples will sway you

#1: If your employees wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while they work, your safety signs will remind them to put it on, so they can protect themselves.

Here's an example: Jack must wear gloves when he works with hot water pipes. But Jack didn't do this. As a result, he got injured.

If there had been a safety sign indicating he must wear gloves, he would have remembered to put his gloves on before touching the pipes.

#2: If you have dangerous areas on your premises, your safety signs will warn people they're entering a dangerous area.

If you don't have a safety signs, people on your site will not be cautious. They could get injured as a result and you'll be held liable.

Here's an example: Joshua had to replace a circuit breaker in an electrical distribution board. But, he forgot to switch off the power and got electrocuted.

If an electrical hazard sign was up, it would've reminded him to switch off the main electricity switch before replacing the circuit breaker.

Here's one more example that shows the importance of safety signs.

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Compile your own comprehensive Induction Programme

Do you know what your OHSA duties are as an employer?

Do your employees know what their duties are?

Click here to find out

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One more example that shows why you need to have safety signs

#3: The Health & Safety Advisor says having safety signs informs your employees (and others) where to find things. This means you'll be able to ensure any person on your premises can find equipment (e.g. safety/emergency equipment). This could be the first aid kits, fire-fighting equipment, emergency exit, stairs, ablution facilities etc. The signage will show them where to go.

If your employees don't know where to find things like first aid kits, they won't get help. This means you're putting their safety at risk and you'll face fines for this.

Here's an example: Janet cut her finger badly and needs a bandage. The signage will show her where to find the first aid kit.

We hope these practical examples have made you realise the importance of safety signs in the workplace. So make sure you comply with the OHSA.

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