Visual communication is an extremely helpful tool for workplace fire safety. With the help of these tools, employees will be able to acknowledge and practice proper safety measures in the facility, strengthen the overall safety in the facility, and even improve emergency preparedness. Those outcomes should be high on the list of priorities within a company. However, visual communication always begins with proper safety training for its employees. If this is not attended to then the employees won’t know what to do with those visual signals since they won’t necessarily know what any of them mean. Furthermore, having a better visual initiative will also help with making the workplace more organized which subsequently leads to other improved standards and 5S initiatives that stretch across all departments.
Fire Safety Examples
There are several different strategies that companies can use for visual communication. The first example to look at are wall signs. These types of signs are great for fire safety reasons because they alert people of emergency exits, the location of fire extinguishers and alarms, PPE and equipment needed in certain areas, and any sort of fire hazard that the facility might hold. Wall signs regarding fire safety are also helpful because they are within eye-level and always have a bright red background and white or black letters that grab the attention of anyone walking by.
Another good visual communication strategy to implement for fire safety is floor markings. This can include anything from fire extinguisher floor signs, electrical panel floor signs, or things like red floor tape to mark a potential fire hazard in a particular area. These floor markings are great because unlike wall signs, they can delineate an area that is be much larger than what a simple wall sign could cover. Tape markings also happen to assist in emergency preparedness, this can be done with the use of glow-in-the dark tape (egress) to mark emergency exits and pathways in case the facility loses power.
The last visual communication that is a big help when it comes to fire safety is machine and pipe labeling. This task, while it may be tedious, is crucial when noting potential fire hazards. For example, pipes containing flammable liquids and gases absolutely must be labeled to not only be compliant with OSHA and ANSI, but also to prevent employees from opening a valve that should not be opened or to help emergency response teams identify a spilled substance. As for machine labeling, any sort of clarifying information on how the machine works and what kinds of PPE one must wear to operate it is beneficial, especially around areas where hot work/welding is conducted since those actions are prone to resulting in fires.
Anyone is capable of making the workplace a safer environment. When properly trained in effective labeling and other types of visual communication for fire safety, employees will be that much more comfortable around potential hazards since the hazards themselves and the proper protection equipment have been addressed.
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