The Safety Benefits of Digital Signage
In light of the current events covered by the media, it's evident that security and safety are now more critical than ever, especially in the workplace.
As a result, businesses and organizations are turning to digital signage to broaden the scope and frequency of communication. Digital signage aids safety professionals and other personnel in conveying urgent messages more efficiently, heightening awareness across the premises, and enhancing the capacity of employees and visitors to react to potential threats.
Ensuring safety in the workplace is crucial, regardless of whether you're managing an organization or owning a business. It falls upon you to guarantee the safety of all employees and customers on your premises.
Therefore, protocols must enable everyone to identify potential safety emergencies and take appropriate action. This article will enlighten you on how digital signage can enhance safety measures.
What is Digital Safety Signage?
Safety signage refers to visual communication devices designed to convey safety-related information and warnings to employees and visitors in the workplace.
These signs include cautionary labels, directional signs, emergency exit signs, and other safety-related messages to promote awareness and prevent accidents.
Over the past decade, there have been remarkable advancements in workplace safety, resulting in a significant reduction in worker injuries. Safety signage is an integral part of preparing employees for potential occupational hazards. Safety signs such as caution and warning labels assist workers in ensuring safety in various conditions.
Safety signage employs effective visual communication to enable workers to identify potential hazards in the workplace. By strategically placing safety signs in the appropriate locations, injury risks can be minimized, and safety can be promoted in a straightforward and cost-effective manner.
Managers and business owners are responsible for taking necessary measures and utilizing safety signage to prevent workplace incidents. It's essential to use appropriate safety signs to indicate areas in your facility where potential hazards exist.
There are typically three categories of signs: danger, warning, and caution. A danger sign is reserved for the most severe hazards and should be used to alert workers to the need to take precautionary measures. The ‘danger’ signal can be printed in white letters on a red background or a symbol indicating the danger.
On the other hand, caution signs are used to communicate the possibility of a hazard and the need for caution to prevent injuries. The caution signal is typically printed in black on a yellow background.
It's important to identify which sign should be used to indicate a specific hazard to ensure the safety of workers and visitors in the area.
Benefits of Safety Signage
Safety signage provides many benefits for facilities, regardless of their size. When strategically placed, safety signage allows workers to recognize where and when to take necessary precautions easily.
We often come across warning signs around restricted areas indicating various hazards. One of the primary functions of safety signage is to reduce workplace accidents.
Businesses utilize safety signs as an effective communication channel, instructing employees on what actions to take or avoid in a facility. Manufacturers must strictly adhere to established safety codes to ensure the safety of their workers.
In addition to enhancing workplace safety, safety signage can promote a safety culture and increase worker productivity. By informing workers about potential hazards in the facility, such as dust or flying particles, and the need for personal protective equipment, safety signage can help prevent injuries and fatalities.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. Therefore, it's crucial to use caution signs prone to fall hazards, reminding workers to take necessary precautions.
How Digital Safety Signage Can Improve Safety
Safety is of utmost importance in a manufacturing work environment. About 400 million people are injured at work every year. This results in lost workdays and significant financial and temporal losses for workers and their companies.
Moreover, workplace accidents can lead to severe or permanent injuries, making it crucial to minimize their occurrence. Using digital signage for workplace safety can help spread awareness and reduce the occurrence of such incidents.
1. Get More Eyes
While print signage may miss people’s eyes these days, digital signage is sure to catch their attention. No matter what you have going on, a flashy animation popping up right in your face is always an excellent reminder of whatever the next safety precaution is.
It's essential to keep in mind the standard practices and OSHA regulations, including reporting procedures for spills, proper handling of combustible materials, maintaining a clutter-free work environment, and appropriate material storage.
However, posters tend to fade into the background, becoming part of the scenery. Therefore, it's crucial to include dynamic, well-designed messages in a rotating playlist on displays to keep the workers' attention. A quick redesign of the same message can make it feel fresh and new.
To highlight specific areas, you can choose to use special message templates or add motion, such as animated text or a slow pan. Adding sound to reinforce the message in a suitable area, like a break room, can also be helpful. Short videos demonstrating do’s and don'ts can be more effective than just displaying a poster on the wall.
In addition, displaying statistical data with reminders can help emphasize the importance of safety tips and put them in a larger context. These practices should be permanently included in the playlists and reviewed regularly to ensure workers remember and follow them.
2. Provide Instant Emergency Alerts
Real-time digital messaging is crucial in emergencies such as fire outbreaks, chemical spills, or earthquake warnings. It can prevent injuries, minimize damages, and even save lives.
One way to implement this is by using an emergency alert app that overrides regular content to display urgent messages on digital screens. This can inform building occupants about the nature of the emergency, exit plans, meeting plans, and alternative routes.
Moreover, integrating the digital signage system with other security systems, such as video feeds from security cameras, is also beneficial. This integration enables the real-time transmission of surveillance footage, allowing people within the building to react quickly and prevent the situation from worsening.
These measures should be put in place to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the building during an emergency.
3. Remind Workers What They Are Doing Right
Focusing solely on warnings and rules is not good enough when communicating safety messages. If you want people to take your advice, you must also give them commendations.
It is important to acknowledge and praise workers for following correct procedures. Displaying real-time data on how many accident-free days the floor has had or praising individuals or teams for their safety efforts is an effective way to emphasize safety while maintaining a positive perspective.
During their rounds, managers can take photos of correctly stored materials and equipment with a date and time stamp and display them on digital screens, along with a thank you message to workers.
This approach serves as positive reinforcement and a reminder that can potentially influence future behavior. It's essential to highlight the positives of safety measures to encourage workers to continue following correct procedures.
4. Train Workers on Safety Standards
Safety training can also be exciting. Don’t make it only at meetings or gatherings. You can use digital signage to train your employees too.
Implement short, informative training videos displayed on digital signs in break rooms and other locations where workers meet. This can serve as effective reminders while also educating them about procedures in a dynamic, visual manner.
Moreover, if you have interactive touchscreens, training modules can be easily accessible on kiosks, allowing employees to take quick refresher courses right there on the screen. The results of these training sessions can be logged and stored for later review with the employee and their supervisor.
This approach to safety training ensures that workers are continuously learning and practicing safety procedures, which can significantly reduce accidents and injuries on the job.
5. Get Them Involved
While OSHA and other regulatory bodies provide guidelines for safety, there may be unique safety needs specific to your facility. Engaging everyone in the process of creating internal safety standards can foster a sense of ownership and collaboration with management.
Encourage suggestions for procedures and improvements once or twice a year and promote this policy on your digital signage. QR codes or short URLs can simplify the process of accessing a webpage created for their suggestions.
Alternatively, you could use kiosk displays paired with forms stored beneath the screens to access the necessary paperwork immediately. Since your workers are the ones who operate on the floor and observe safety risks regularly, establish a system for them to suggest changes and improvements, as well as report deficiencies.
This practice helps workers feel a sense of belonging to the safety culture in the workplace and can lead to more efficient practices. To boost company morale, consider offering rewards for the best suggestions.
By allowing workers to contribute to creating safety standards, they become more invested in the success of these measures, resulting in a safer work environment for all.
6. Use Digital Safety Signage to Engage Your Workers
While workplace safety is a serious issue, incorporating humor in digital messages can make them more memorable. Consider developing safety campaigns that tell a story or feature a mascot to reinforce safety messages in a fun and engaging way.
If employees are discussing safety campaigns in the break room, you have effectively gone viral within your staff, ensuring that the message is retained in their minds.
A safe workplace doesn't happen accidentally. Everyone must be on the same page and understand the risks, procedures, and importance of safety measures. By leveraging your digital signage system to foster a culture of safety, everyone can focus on their work without worrying about safety concerns.
By working together to create a cohesive safety culture, you can ensure that everyone is informed and prepared, minimizing risks and hazards.
7. Allow Staff Reporting and Feedback
Encouraging constructive feedback is essential for the growth of any business. Consider inviting your employees to report safety issues and other concerns they may have anonymously.
Consider installing interactive digital signage systems in the workplace to allow staff members to suggest improvements and file complaints. This feedback process will give you insight into areas that need improvement and helps create a safe space for everyone.
Furthermore, you can use interactive wayfinding screens to conduct short surveys that employees can quickly complete by selecting answers. The process is fast and convenient, encouraging more staff members to participate and allowing for the development of more effective solutions.
Using Digital Signage for Workplace Safety
Employers can enhance their safety culture by using digital safety signage in addition to the OSHA-mandated danger, warning, and caution signs. Digital signage provides an efficient and engaging means of communicating safety standards and messages to employees.
Unlike static safety signs, digital safety signage can include visuals, movement, and even sound to capture employees' attention and reinforce the importance of safety in the workplace. By incorporating digital signage, employers can demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe and secure work environment.
Manufacturing facilities face a unique communication challenge as their floor workers are not desk-bound and cannot access email. However, keeping these erudite workers engaged and informed about productivity metrics, benefits information, and safety statistics is crucial.
Digital screens are ideal for manufacturing settings as they provide visual reminders beyond traditional plastic signs. For instance, while a plastic sign may indicate that workers are in a hard hat required area, a digital sign can provide additional information such as:
- The number of days since the last hard hat accident
- Instructions on how to inspect hard hats for cracks, wear, and tear
- The reason why the area requires hard hats, such as overhead material transport
Digital signage can also be placed in break areas, building entrances and exits, and locker rooms to mix safety messages with other important information, such as benefits enrollment deadlines, service anniversaries, and recognition for top performers.
Using tailored, visually-engaging content can effectively educate and motivate workers, fostering a shared sense of community and uniting employees across various departments or facilities.
Animated messages have a greater impact and stick in the memory more than traditional forms of communication like email, text, or app notifications.
Incorporating imagery specific to your business or industry can enhance the message's relevance, making it more relatable to your workers.