different safety signs for Australian businesses

10 Common Business Safety Signs You Should Have

different safety signs for Australian businesses

Safety signs and symbols are an essential part of a safety communication system, as they facilitate the identification of hazards on a plant site or at the workplace. In addition, they provide workers, clients, visitors, and passers-by with essential information and safety instructions concerning those hazards.

In addition to alerting potential hazard, safety signs and symbols help create safety awareness. It is crucial in reducing workplace accidents, especially in manufacturing, heavy industry, and construction sites, but it is also important in office settings.

Choosing the proper health and safety signs and symbols for each work location on your premises is essential for maximising their effectiveness. To help you with that, we will discuss the ten common safety signs you should have in your business. 

The Must-Have Business Safety Sign and What it Should Look Like According to Australian Safety Sign Standard

According to the Australian Safety Sign Standard AS 1319-1994, industrial warning signs must meet minimum requirements regarding design and use. As part of the standard, directions are provided for the benefit of safety signs, including the background colours, legends and the symbols used on them. Moreover, it’s essential to use safety signs according to their function.

Depending on the level of control placed on the workplace and work site, regulatory safety signs contain instructions on what you can’t and must do to avoid breaking the law or breaching safety guidelines, safety procedures, and other instructions.

1. Emergency Information Signs

A sign that indicates the location of an emergency facility or the direction to it is called an emergency sign. Typically, signs in this category have white text and icons on a green background. But, why is it green?

It is crucial for safety signs to have the right colour. One of the most common emergency information signs is the exit sign. Exit signs have a green background for a number of reasons, including their visibility. A well-lit exit sign’s vibrant green is easier for the human eye to detect than dull red (a colour that is still commonly used in the USA).

Furthermore, green is associated with safety, like green traffic lights for crossing intersections. When it comes to emergencies, it’s easier to rely on the instinct that green means go, and these signs are often illuminated as per workplace safety standards.

2. Fire Signs

sign for fire safety

Fire safety signs usually include standard text, symbols, and colours (usually red and white) so they’re easily identifiable. You can use them to indicate the location of fire extinguishers, hoses, sprinklers, and exits so people can react or evacuate appropriately.

According to Australia’s safety sign standards, fire signs must have a red background and white pictograms and text, for high contrast. These signs are pretty clear on their own, so there’s not much else to say. A fire sign is red because… fire is red and people can easily associate danger with this colour.


3. Prohibition Signs

no smoking prohibition sign perth

Businesses use several types of prohibition signs to prevent certain activities in various situations. Frequently, they’re used to identify actions that are either prohibited by local rules or regulations, or that could potentially threaten bystanders’ health or safety.

All who see these signs know that specific actions are unsafe or prohibited. In addition to helping to adhere to health, safety, and sign regulations, prohibition signs are crucial to maintaining order in the business workplace.

It is easy to identify prohibition signs by their round shape, outlined by a bold red circle and a diagonal line from left to right. In most cases, this circle is above a black symbol on a white background, with any related text to the side or underneath, in black and white – especially if it’s an instructional sign like “No” or “Do Not.”

Having the right prohibition signs in places where they are needed is imperative to avoid any kind of behaviour resulting in danger or an accident.

4. Mandatory Sign

Mandatory signs inform staff and visitors about what they must do to remain safe on your premises. Having mandatory safety signs on your premises from the moment someone enters will prevent the need for face-to-face instruction. 

Mandatory signs are typically blue, which makes them easily distinguishable from other types of signs. Contrasting colours make instructions easy to see in areas where they are needed.

To comply with health and safety regulations, mandatory safety signs indicate actions or behaviours that business steakholders must implement in a workplace or public area. They are the ‘must-do’ safety signs.

They inform employees and visitors that they must take actions to stay safe, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) or taking precautions to stay safe in potentially dangerous environments. Given their function, it is important that businesses place these signs in areas where incoming people can easily spot them.

5. Limitation Signs

age restriction sign australia

The purpose of limitation or restriction signs is usually to manage traffic, and business owners use it to place a numerical or other defined limit on an activity or the use of a facility.




6. Danger Signs

danger sign brisbane australia

Whenever a potential hazard or a hazardous condition in your business establishment is likely to be life-threatening, you should have danger signs. A red oval surrounds the word ‘Danger’, encircled by a black rectangle and often contains other warning symbols. The danger safety signage, can warn about several dangerous situations, including fuel storage, radiation, high voltage, chemicals, and open holes.



7. Warning Signs or Caution Signs

A warning sign usually has a yellow background and a black pictogram with a triangle border and black text. Among these are the infamous slippery-when-wet sign as well as more serious signs like welding in progress and forklifts in use.

This category includes signs that are all over the place. For example, pinch point, which has a pictogram of fingers squashed between gears. This caution sign might feel weird and uncomfortable. However, it would definitely keep your employees and clients clear of the pinch point though. So we guess, it’s a job well done for that warning sign.

8. GHS Signs

In addition to the safety signs and meanings of Australian workplaces discussed in the previous sections is GHS sign. It warns about the toxic materials in the business premises.

GHS (Globally Harmonised System) is another important system. It often appears on paint tins that are poisonous or toxic to the environment. The pictograms look like red diamond shapes with white backgrounds and black pictograms in the middle.

Facilities commonly use it to demonstrate that the material is toxic to eat or even inhale- the classic bone skull sign. A dead fish in a river with a leafless tree is a pictogram to represent aquatic toxicity. There is also one unusual sign. It has the shape of a human that appears to be dissolving from the inside out. This sign says that you can suffer from respiratory problems or organ toxicity.


9. Australian Dangerous Goods Signs

Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code is used for the transportation of dangerous goods. You will frequently find these signs on truck fronts and backs. Generally, pictograms speak a lot for these signs. But, one does not have any pictograms and facilities use it to describe miscellaneous dangerous goods. Basically, it has a white background with black, vertical lines on top. Businesses us this sign for things that don’t fall into other categories. Examples are dry ice, which can cause your skin to freeze so badly it feels like a burn, and asbestos, which causes lung cancer.

10. Custom Safety Signs

At National Corporate Signage, you can request custom business safety signs. Having this sign is perfect, especially if you identify a unique potential hazard in your business establishment. It is also good if you want to impose a specific set of rules and regulations and safety measures. You can give us a design and we can manufacture it for you. You can also entrust us with the design as we have a team of experienced graphic artists. 



Get Safety Signs for Your Business from National Corporate Signage

National Corporate Signage has over 35 years of sign making. Further, we are one of the leading sign manufacturers in Australia. You can get your safety signs from us. We can handle the end-to-end process of making it effective in upholding health and safety in your business establishment. 

Moreover, you can trust that we know the Australian Sign Safety Standard by heart. We can apply them when we manufacture and install your sign. With this, you’re rest assured that all your safety signs (fire sign, warning sign, danger sign, caution sign, and more) comply with the standards and will be effective. 

To know more about our services, click here. If you are interested in getting our safety signs and start partnering with National Corporate Signage, you can contact us and request a free quote! We’re happy to serve you! 

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