The Importance of Signs for Health and Safety
Signs are everywhere, and play an important role not only when it comes to health and safety, but also in everyday life. A person will see so many signs during the course of a day such as driving to work or walking through the street that they are likely not to realise just how prevalent and numerous they are. These signs can vary in intent:- those that inform, those that warn of potential danger or hazards, signs that provide directions etc.
Signs as warnings
As far as health and safety is concerned, the majority of signs will be those that warn of danger. They are designed to be highly visible so that they do not go unnoticed and so provide the intended warnings which may be the difference between a person or persons having a serious accident or not. In this way they can literally be the difference between life and death.
Signs can provide instructions, directions and guidance
As well as providing warnings, signs can also give instructions and directions which need to be followed in the event of an emergency. Typical examples include emergency exit signs which easily show people where to exit the building in the event of an incident such as a fire.
Emergency exit signs are also a good example of the importance of visual signs. Whilst some signs are made up of words which can provide useful instructions, many signs are designed to convey their message with a picture so that they can be understood by people regardless of what language they speak. A picture sign can also be more easily understood in the event of an emergency and allow for quicker evacuation than if a person had to stop and read the words on it.
Of course all these signs everywhere can lead to a person being overwhelmed by the information. As mentioned earlier, many signs rely on their visual impact to grab the attention of someone so that they take in the information being conveyed by the sign. However, if there are too many signs, the eye can be overloaded and will not notice or take the perhaps vital information on board. It is therefore important that signs are kept to a minimum so that the most essential information can be conveyed to the viewer.