The Signs are Everywhere.

#USAMfgHour Twitter Chat Recap for February 6, 2020

This week’s #USAMfgHour was hosted by Christine Torres of Graphic Products and discussed facility signage requirements, which is a matter of great importance to manufacturers who rely on signs to keep their workers safe on the floor and in their facilities.

After the first question, an icebreaker asking about the signage funnies and fails participants have seen, we got into the nitty gritty of the chat by inquiring as to whether the style and placement of signs matters in order for workers to see them.  And Phil, Warehouse Flow Advisor (@whitzshared), was right on top of this one, saying “Style and placement are very important. You want their eyes to come right to it especially in a very hazardous area. Language is critical.” Christine followed up this comment with a note that signs can be much more than a requirement by OSHA, they can be an effective tool for providing messages that stick with employees to improve behavior and ingrain into work culture.

Next Christine explained a little bit about signage requirements since most of the participants didn’t know the difference between OSHA and ANSI ones.  She said that OSHA sign meets the regulatory requirements in 29 CFR §1910.145 and that an ANSI sign follows the design recommendations in ANSI/NEMA Z535 (revised in 2017).  However, the best safety signs do both: they use the ANSI recommendations to meet the OSHA requirements. She then went on to describe what signs need to be both OSHA and ANSI compliant, including:

  • A bold header and signal word to help people recognize the sign.
  • A message panel that clearly communicates the needed information.
  • Careful sign placement, to ensure that people have the information they need when they need it.

Ruby (@SocialSMktg) followed up this response by asking whether there are specific dimensions for signage and Christine responded, “From OSHA, no. As long as the sign can be read while the worker is still safe. ANSI has some dimensions required, like the signal word should be the largest text on the sign.”

@witzshared commented, “Outdated signage can also be a fire safety violation.  If there is an old fire extinguisher sign and no longer a fire extinguisher there, that’s a violation,” which sparked a side conversation about when companies should update their signs.  Christine then responded by stating, “As often as needed. If it’s not doing its job, change it! Sometimes changing things up helps refresh the work mindset, too.”

Christine finished out the chat by providing a link to download a free guide on facility signage: after explaining what the difference was between a “CAUTION”, “WARNING”, and “DANGER” sign. 

  • CAUTION marks a hazard that could cause moderate injury. 
  • WARNING marks a hazard that could cause serious injury, or death. 
  • DANGER is for extreme hazards, where serious injury or death are likely unless the sign’s instructions are followed.

Overall, the chat was a big hit with participants, including @SpaceGuard, @AxisNJ, @NesbitMarketing, @MaterialHndling, @CVTPlastics, @SERVICECASTER, @dpitstulka, @SpaceGuard, and @cdmcmachine. 

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Michelle Garrett (@PRisUS) will be hosting a chat discussing how manufacturing companies can leverage public relations (PR) to grow their businesses. 

In the meantime, keep in touch between chats by following us on social media:

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Twitter for Highlights: @USAMfgHourChat

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