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OSHA Safety Signs - Which Ones Are Most Frequently Used?

Written By Iniesta Estable on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | 5:31 PM

OSHA safety signs indicate and define specific dangers, hazards and precautions in the work place. They communicate the type, potential, and degree of a hazard and whether the hazard is temporary or permanent. Each safety sign features a prominent signal word and dominant color scheme that instantly reveal the nature and urgency of the information posted.

Listed below are several of the most frequently requested OSHA safety signs:

DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE: electricity is invisible and has no sound or smell, but it can give you a shock that may startle you, paralyze you, damage your internal organs, or even kill you. Every year approximately 400 people in the U.S. are killed by electric shock and far more are injured. Electric shocks at voltages over 600V are considered high-voltage. At such voltages, serious electrical injury is more common than in lower-voltage accidents. High-voltage electric injury accounts for approximately 3% of all hospital admissions for burn injuries and is also associated with a high incidence of major amputation. Electrical accidents can also start fires, cause explosions, and damage equipment.

DANGER - NO SMOKING: an estimated 24% of American males and 18% of American females still smoke. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that smokers have 29% greater risk for industrial accidents and 55% greater risk for occupational injuries. Smokers tend to forget they are carrying a source of ignition in their mouths and can literally puff their way to disaster. Use of prominently displayed DANGER - NO SMOKING signage can help prevent this from happening.

DANGER - HARD HAT AREA: a head injury occurs every 15 seconds in the United States; and a single head injury, even if not fatal, can handicap an employee for life. Among the most costly workplace accidents, head injuries average more than $135,000 per claim and more than 365 days out of work. Wearing a hard hat can protect from falling objects and hitting your head, insulate from burns or electric shocks, keep hair from getting tangled in machinery or filled with dust, grit or hazardous chemicals. OSHA regulations require employers to ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas with a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.

DANGER - DO NOT ENTER: enclosed or hidden places where you cannot see what lies inside or underneath can present great hazard to unprepared or unwary workers. Hazards may include dangerous equipment or materials, treacherous footing such as sudden drop-offs, a structure in unsafe condition, and low-oxygen or toxic atmosphere. All such areas should be clearly marked to help reduce injury or fatality.

DANGER - NO TRESPASSING: curiosity, convenience, carelessness and many other motives can bring individuals to walk into areas where they don't belong. Sometimes they risk their lives with every step. Hazardous chemicals, high-voltage equipment, fall hazards, even radiation risk can cause injury or fatality. The best defense besides barriers is information, which starts with a clear posting of the correct OSHA safety sign.