In the hustle and bustle involved in setting up a new company, it is easy to overlook specific details, especially if you do not have the right information. 

There are many legal requirements that cannot be ignored, from setting up to officially opening a shop. One of the crucial aspects of business is setting up the workplace. 

When doing so, you must ensure the health and safety of all your employees. One way to do this is by having various safety signs installed in the appropriate locations. 

Regardless of the industry of your business, this is an oversight you cannot afford to make. 

Australian Standards AS 1319:1994 outlines precisely the requirements for the design and use of safety signs in the workplace.

These signs are meant to regulate and control safety-related behavior in the occupational environment. 

They also serve to warn individuals of hazards and provide emergency information. If your workplace does not have the proper safety signs in place, it constitutes an offense of the law. 

Thus, as someone who oversees setting up the workplace, you must be aware of all different classifications of these signs. 

Prohibition Signs

These signs restrict the activities that are permitted on the premises. Prohibition signs are used to disallow individuals from doing specific things. 

They must have black text on a white background, which makes reading the instructions straightforward and clear. 

The main sign is typically a red circle with a diagonal line across it, superimposed over a black icon of the action that is prohibited. Examples are No Entry or No Smoking signs. 

Mandatory Signs

A direct opposite of prohibition signs, mandatory signs inform people of what must be done. Instructions on these signs require that specific actions are carried out or protective equipment be used.

They also have black text on white backgrounds. The sign is usually made up of a blue-filled circle with a white icon. 

Some mandatory signs have no image but only text. Some of these signs require that shoes are worn, or other protective gears are utilized.  

Warning Signs

Certain areas of a workplace can pose considerable health and safety risks to people. Therefore, warning signs are necessary. 

With yellow backgrounds, black symbols within a black triangle, and black text, they are easily spotted. 

When you see these signs, know that there are risk factors present that may hurt or injure you.

Fire Safety Signs

These signs give information about the location of fire alarms and equipment. They indicate where you can find useful firefighting items such as fire blankets, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, and more. They are red with white icons and text.  

Emergency Signs

For non-fire related emergencies, these signs are what you should be looking for to put on display. 

They are green with white text and symbols. They indicate the location or give information about emergency life-saving equipment such as AEDs (automated external defibrillators). They also point out first aid kits and emergency phones. 

Danger Signs

These signs are some of the most important to have if your workplace requires them. They warn about life-threatening hazards or hazardous conditions that are in the immediate vicinity. 

These signs have the word ‘danger’ in white, bold, and capitalized, within a red oval. They warn of threats such as high voltage and direct people to keep away or not to enter. 

General Information Signs

While these signs may not be listed in AS 1319:1994, they are popular because of their usefulness. 

General information signs communicate information that may be required in the workplace. Typically, they assist in notifying people about housekeeping, company practices, or other logistics.