The difference between a normal day at the office and a trip to the emergency room could come down to a simple “wet floor” sign. Experts note it’s difficult for customers and employees to take the necessary safety precautions around hazards without a sign. In fact, OSHA has found a link between safety signage and accident occurrence. To protect your small business from accidents and potential claims, it’s important to ensure you have safety signage for all common hazards.

Benefits of Safety Signage

Safety signage keeps people safe, yet there are additional benefits to signage:

  • Reducing accidents
  • Promoting a culture of safety
  • Minimizing legal risks

Businesses experience a reduction in workplace accidents and injuries when safety signage is clearly and consistently employed. Signage also minimizes your risk of legal action should an accident occur.

Types of Signs

There are three primary categories of safety signage:

  • Danger Signs—These are red signs with white lettering that warn about the most serious risks of bodily injury or death, such as high voltage or flammable materials areas, moving equipment or serious fall hazards.
  • Warning Signs—These are orange signs with black lettering that warn about a moderate level of risk of bodily harm or fatality and the need to take appropriate precautions, such as wearing hardhats or safety goggles.
  • Caution Signs—These are yellow signs with black lettering that indicate a lower level hazard, such as a wet floor, where unsafe practices or restricted activities could lead to an injury or equipment damage.

Other commonly used signs include:

  • Notice signs giving information about equipment, directions and facility information.
  • General safety signs dealing with health hazards and housekeeping regulations.
  • Admittance signs identifying authorized personnel and restricted access areas.
  • Fire safety signs identifying fire safety equipment and escape routes.
  • Non-hazard signs listing facility information for offices, meeting rooms and washrooms.

Include all appropriate safety signage at your business to inform your customers and employees about facility features and warn against any hazards that may pose a risk to safety.

Assessing Your Safety Signage

Your business may already have safety signage that helps keep customers and employees safe. Follow these tips to assess your current signage and identify areas for improvement:

  • Make sure signs are located at point of use and related directly to the hazard at hand.
  • Reduce visual clutter and distraction by reducing the number of signs a single area.
  • Position signs for maximum visibility.
  • Take down safety signs that are no longer needed.
  • Replace any signage that is out-of-date, damaged or missing.
  • Replace taped-up paper signs with professional signage.


By evaluating, updating and maintaining your safety signage, you can help ensure the safety of everyone at your place of business. Replace that lost or missing sign today, and you’ll help prevent an unexpected trip to the emergency room tomorrow.