Importance of Safety Signs on Building Sites

Although all workers entering construction sites must undergo the appropriate safety training it still helps to have safety signs posted around the site to warn workers and visitors to the site about hazards and what precautions need to be taken to overcome them.

Employers have a responsibility according to the law to provide workers with a safe working environment, this includes ways of controlling hazards if it is not possible to eliminate them. Employers need to ensure they have the appropriate signage mounted in the correct areas if they want to avoid accidents and liability for any safety incidents that occur.

The adequate safety signs need to be placed in the appropriate place even before construction starts on the site.

Some of the factors that principal contractors must consider are the nature of the construction work, the direction to the site office or site amenities, the means of access that need to be kept clear, where the hazardous chemicals and materials are kept, head and foot protection and PPE that need to be worn, where first aid and fire extinguishing equipment is kept as well as authorisations required for the site. These signs must be kept in good condition and be clearly visible, they should not be obstructed by other objects or out of a workers line of sight (For example too high up).

Lighting in the vicinity of the sign should be good and the sign must be mounted in a prominent position where is visible to all who pass by it.  It is recommended by the authorities that any symbols should be at least 15mm per metre of viewing distance, and any uppercase text be at least 5mm per metre of viewing distance. In bad lighting or viewing conditions, this should be increased by 50%. If possible safety signage should be mounted close to the observer’s line of sight in the vertical plane and should be located against a contrasting background so that it is more visible.