Why health and safety signage is important to your business

Supplier says signage is a small investment, but will encourage safer working environments

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there were 144 UK workers killed at work between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

In November 2016, the HSE released its annual statistics report with information about workplace-related injuries and illnesses. The HSE UK statistics also showed that there were 1.3 million people suffering from a work-related illness, over 621,000 work-related injuries and 2,515 people died from mesothelioma due to past asbestos exposure.

But Danny Adamson, managing director of sign maker and digital printer Stocksigns, says there’s a lot that can be done to prevent workplace accidents, such as having the correct signage in place.
He said: “Accidents are unpredictable, however there is a lot that can be done to prevent accidents happening in the first place. One of the key ways of keeping people safe in any environment is using the correct signage.

“In the past 20 years, there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal work-related injuries. In 1992 the safety signs directive was adopted by all European Union member states. In 1996 the changes were implemented through the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) act. This required employers to provide specific safety signs whenever there is a risk that has not been avoided or controlled by other means.

“The introduction of Safety Signs and Signals Regulations protects workers and members of the public. Since then the rate of fatal injury has reduced by over 50%. In 1996 there were 0.9 fatal injuries per every 100,000 workers, today the figure is 0.4.

“There is a correlation between the introduction of safety signage and a reduction in the number of accidents. The first step of ensuring safety to everyone is being able to alert them to danger and having compliant signage in place. Today there is a huge range of signs available for all types of hazards. Signage is a small investment, but it will encourage safer working environments.”

RoSPA’s (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) campaign manager, Rebecca Hickman, said: “Our work over the past 100 years has taught us that accidents do not have to happen, and that’s why we’re stepping up our activities to help keep people safe. Our mission is to save lives and reduce injuries and our vision is to lead the way on accident prevention.

“RoSPA plays a unique role in UK health and safety. As a member organisation that campaigns for safety change we also provide services and support to help organisations on their own journey to become safer and healthier places in which to work.”

Stocksigns says it’s essential for businesses to have up-to-date signage. Enforced by the HSE, if non-compliant signage is being used it could lead to extensive fines or serious consequences including prison sentences, personal injuries or even loss of life.

The signmakers is currently celebrating eight years of partnership with RoSPA and is donating 20p from every sign sold to the Brighter Beginnings appeal. The Brighter Beginnings campaign is part of RoSPA’s centenary celebrations. The funds raised will help provide new parents with information packs to give their little ones a safer start in life.

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