First aid signs and posters are an essential part of the health and safety of any business. Not only are they sometimes a legal requirement, but they also help to ensure your staff respond appropriately to various situations and can work to prevent (or reduce the impact of) any injuries. Here’s everything you need to know about first aid signage.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires that every workplace, no matter how small or large, provides first aid equipment for staff, customers and visitors. Part of this requirement is making sure that the equipment (typically your first aid kit) is accessible – think about if a newcomer to your site needed to get the kit. How would they find it? Purchasing first-aid signs let you clearly point the way and mark the location, shortening the time needed to respond to any issues.
What kind of signage is there?
First aid-related signage can be broken up into three main categories:
- Signs that tell employees or customers what do in the event of an emergency – signs that direct people to the first aid kit, for example
- Signs that are used as a reference during an emergency – signs explaining step-by-step what to do in certain situations
- Signs that provide a sense of safety or peace of mind – this includes the signs that show who is trained in first aid
Positioning your first aid signs
Where you place your signs is almost as important as what is on them. There is no point putting up information in places that people do not go to very often (supply rooms, dormant offices, etc) and there is no point in having signs in places where they are obstructed. Make sure your signage is placed where people can stop and take in the information – staff rooms are often ideal – or near to the risk area if it is a more hazard-specific sign.
Signs will need to be at eye-level for maximum impact, and not lost amongst other, less important information. A cluttered noticeboard doesn’t let your sign stand out and it can be easily overlooked as people skim all the information being displayed.
Which signs do you need?
This will depend largely on the kind of work your business is involved in and the kinds of first aid equipment it needs to stock. Items like emergency eye wash are not necessarily required in office or commercial spaces, but industrial sites or factories might need it. Think about the likely issues your staff might face, review your accident log (if you have one) and get the signage that will most benefit you and your employees.
If you have a workforce that is spread out around different rooms or floors, make sure to get and display signs that tell people who and where the nearest first aid trained person is based (space for the person’s extension number or mobile is a good option too) as well as where the first aid kit is.
About First Mats
First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk