Avoiding safety sign blindness in the warehouse

By Freddie Pierce
Nobody wants a lawsuit in their warehouse after a worker gets hurt. Thats the biggest reason why safety signs are put up in such warehouses, as these w...

Nobody wants a lawsuit in their warehouse after a worker gets hurt. That’s the biggest reason why safety signs are put up in such warehouses, as these warning signs can help mitigate legal damages.

But are you putting up your signs in the best location possible? David Arnold from Safety Sign Supplies’ blog talks about the phrase “sign blindness,” and measures a sign installer should follow when positioning health and safety signs in the warehouse.

According to Arnold, there are two types of sign blindness. Cluster sign blindness results when too many safety signs are positioned together in a warehouse entrance. Arnold lists a number of signs he saw during one warehouse visit as follows:

  • High visibility jackets must be worn in this area sign
  • Fire exit keep clear sign
  • Forklifts operating warning sign
  • Protective footwear must be worn mandatory sign
  • Do not climb racking prohibition sign
  • Caution Mind the step sign
  • Head protection must be worn sign

Instead of having a large number of safety signs in a warehouse, Arnold suggests consolidating all the protective work wear signs into a single sign. Also, Arnold notes that the ‘Do not climb racking’ sign is unnecessary, as common sense signs need not be posted.

Also, it’s never a good idea to position fire exit signs near a cluster of other signs in a warehouse, as fire exit signs are designed to be read at a glance.

The other type of sign blindness Arnold talks about is familiarity sign blindness, which is much more difficult to avoid than cluster sign blindness. Familiarity sign blindness occurs when a worker sees a sign every day, and because they’re so familiar with the sign they choose to ignore its message.

Arnold suggests verbal reinforcement of the sign’s message and changing the design and look of the sign as ways of combating familiarity sign blindness.

Setting up a safe warehouse goes well beyond putting up your safety signs anywhere. Make sure to research and minimize sign blindness to enhance your worker’s awareness of your safety sign’s message.


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