4 Reasons Warning Labels Keep Workers Safe

You don't have to work on a construction site or in a lab to face dangerous materials. In some cases, simply washing your hands with the wrong type of soap could lead to an allergic reaction. Here are some other good reasons why employers should have biohazard labels and other warning signs prominently displayed throughout the workplace.

1. Workers Don't Always Speak English

A warning label may be able to describe the dangers that workers may face in both pictures and words. If a worker doesn't read English well or doesn't know how to read at all, those pictures could help save his or her life. Words such as warning or stop can also be included and should be in bold for effect. For best results, use a lot of white space as too many pictures or words can confuse the person looking at the sign. 

2. Warning Labels May Provide Instructions 

If a person accidentally spills a chemical on their hand, it is critical that they know how to resolve the situation. A quality warning label will be able to tell an injured person how to get the chemical off of their body and what the next steps are in terms of getting treatment. In the event that a chemical is ingested, a warning label may have suggestions as to whether it is best to induce vomiting or simply get to a hospital right away.

3. Workers May Believe an Action Is Safe

Those who have never used a forklift before may not understand the dangers of having more than one person on it at once. They may also not realize that climbing in where there is no foothold could cause it to tip. A warning label on a piece of equipment can alert workers to dangers that they may have not been aware of previously. It allows workers to learn something new without having to harm themselves.

4. Many Containers May Look the Same

It is possible that a container filled with rat poison looks similar to one that contains food for livestock. However, making contact with rat poison could result in severe health hazards while interacting with livestock may not. Therefore, by labeling the rat poison as a potential health hazard, a worker knows to be careful when handling it. 

Whether you are an employer or an employee, you should do whatever it takes to keep yourself and other safe. Biohazard and other warning labels may reduce the odds that a worker mishandles a chemical or inappropriately uses heavy machinery. That can save an employee from weeks or months of rehab while saving an employer thousands of dollars in lost productivity and higher workers' compensation rates.