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Health and safety order signs - how do they improve worker safety?

2023-01-19
Health and safety order signs - how do they improve worker safety?

Health and safety signage at workplaces is the foundation of worker safety. The presence of signs minimizes the risk of accidents, which directly affects the health of people, as well as their comfort at work. In addition to informational and prohibition signs, there are also health and safety order signs, which, as the name implies, order the performance of a specific action or taking a required action.

Occupational health and safety order signs and their functions

Health and safety order signs are information carriers that clearly indicate to perform a specific action to avoid a potential hazard. So they are related to worker safety and most often involve the use of personal protective equipment, such as eye, head, leg, hand, hearing and respiratory protection. The presence of health and safety order signs makes it unlawful for an employee to perform job duties without appropriate personal protective equipment. Moreover, they must be used for their intended purpose. Employees receive special training in this area, and the employer is required to provide them with access to all necessary equipment. They should, like the health and safety order signs in the building, be located in a visible and easily accessible place for employees.

How to recognize health and safety order signs?

Health and safety signage should be easy and unambiguous to interpret. Employees should have adequate knowledge of their importance, only then can they comply with the rules of the workplace. From the PN-EN ISO 7010:2012 standard, it is directly evident what the health and safety order signs must look like so that they can be distinguished from others in the building.

Health and safety order signs have:

  • Round shape
  • Blue background
  • White pictogram

The standard is international, making health and safety labeling widely known not only in Poland, but also in other countries. This is important especially in workplaces that employ foreign workers. Order signs according to PN-EN-ISO 7010:2012 apply in Poland and abroad. They look the same, which avoids problems with their interpretation. Alternatives to these are order signs with description. In addition to a white pictogram on a blue background, they include a caption that indicates a specific behavior.

Occupational health and safety signage vs. specific work

Where this is due to the specific nature of the duties performed, health and safety order signs are mandatory. It should be matched to the duties of the employees taking into account the potential danger. For example, in a place with a lot of noise in order to protect the hearing organ, it is mandatory to order to use hearing protection. In machine work where there is a risk of hand injury, the following are used order to use hand protection. Where there is a risk of contact with, for example, microorganisms or hazardous substances, workers are often concerned with order to use a protective suit. In the zone of increased hygiene, it is enforced hand disinfection order.

Building health and safety order signs help organize safe work with reduced risk of injury and damage. Their application is based on the principles of the Labor Code, the Ordinance of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of September 26, 1997. and the international standard PN-EN ISO 7010:2012.

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