Signage for farm safety – what do you need?
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
I’ve been into lots of different workplaces in my career, and it’s really interesting to have a look at what signs people have put up. Some have very few, some have no wall space left thanks to signs!
Here’s a quick tip – less is more. If you’ve got lots of signs up, people won’t know what’s important or not and will ignore them all. The number of kitchens I’ve been in to where there’s a sign on the hot water system saying ‘caution – hot water’ is worrying.
Health and safety signage is really important as part of your risk management strategy. It is a lower level administrative control and for many things, you simply can’t do more than put signs up.
To find out more about risk management, check out our 4 steps to risk management blog which explains it in simple language and will help you determine what safety signage you may need.
Deciding what you actually need can be a bit of a challenge, so it’s a good idea to understand the different types of signs and work out what’s necessary in your workplace.
Signage is generally classified into 5 categories:
Understanding what’s what is helpful when working out what you need, so we have include some examples.
These signs display a red circle with a slash and can include things like No Entry, No Smoking, No Mobile Phone Use or other prohibited actions.
These types of signs have a red oval banner with information noted below. This is what you would use for powerlines, confined chemicals, etc.
Caution signs are quite common and are yellow triangles. These signs warn people of things such as forklifts or vehicles in operation, hazards, etc. These can be fixed signs or you may even see portable signs like "Wet Floors" on a plastic A-frame for temporary hazards.
Blue in colour, notice signs instruct readers of requirements. This could include PPE requirements for a task or area.
The last type of signage is Emergency information. These are green in colour and include things like the location of First Aid Equipment, Emergency Assembly Areas, etc.
Where do you start for signage on your farm?
You know your operations, so perhaps start with some basics of prohibition and danger signs (for example if you have silos or other confined spaces, you must put signs on all entry points). You can then decide what else to add based on risk.
Did you know at Safe Ag Systems we have an online store where you can order a selection of signage and labels? Our visitor and contractor induction signs allow your guests to complete their inductions via a QR code before they enter your property.
You can also purchase agricultural specific safety signs from many places, and your local stock and station agent may be able to help you with this. If they can’t, a quick google for “buy safety signs” should direct you to lots of safety suppliers. This will also give you ideas about what signs are available.
Topics: Safety Management System
Disclaimer: Content on this website may be of relevance to users outside of Australia, but content links and examples are specific to Australia. Please check with your local authority for your country and industry requirements.
Originally published 14 January, 2021.