By Bruce Hrvatin
The Federal Government recently launched an enhanced safety effort aimed at reducing and preventing workplace hazards in warehouses and distribution centers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) runs the program.
The initiative will also target mail and parcel processing facilities, local delivery services, and retail establishments with a high rate of injuries.
According to OSHA, over 1.9 million people are employed in warehousing and distribution throughout the United States. Data shows these industries experience higher than average rates of injuries. Under this program, the hazards covered by the inspections will include:
- Walking and working surfaces
- Material handling and storage
- Powered vehicle operations
- Means of egress and fire protection
- Heat and ergonomic hazards
Focusing on the Benefits of Workplace Safety
According to Doug Parker, assistant secretary of OSHA, when announcing the program, “Our enforcement efforts are designed to do one thing: lead to permanent change in workplace safety.”
OSHA’s program will direct resources to organizations with high rates of job injuries and help them re-align their business practices to improve worker health and safety.
This blog focuses on why warehouse signage is an essential piece of OSHA’s safety initiative. We will present examples of warehouse signs and the hanging systems and solutions available from Ceiling Outfitters®.
6 Reasons Why Warehouse Ceiling Signage is Important – Think Lean…Think Visual
1. Prevention of Accidents
There is a strong correlation between improper floor marking, lack of supporting ceiling signage, and accidents. A clearly communicated safety program helps workers transit the facility efficiently and safely, reducing workplace accidents.
2. Increases Warehouse Productivity
Clear communication of procedures and pathways eliminates delays and congestion. Ceiling signage helps direct everyone for a faster and more efficient workflow. Signs readily identify product lanes for storage of raw materials and finished products. The adage “everything has a place and everything in its place” can have a positive impact on your facility.
3. Hazard Awareness
Stacking products on high racks, equipment (forklifts, pallet jacks, and scissor lifts), and potentially hazardous goods pose significant risks to workers. A strong signage program informs employees and visitors always to be careful of their surroundings.
4. Improve Employee Morale
The workplace can become repetitive, and messages often lose their impact when they are stationary over time. Create signage that is message-specific and designed with bold, impactful colors. Flexible placement encourages employees to stay engaged.
5. Emergency Preparedness
Signs can include information that directs employees in emergencies. These include exits, evacuation routes, gathering points, first aid stations, and emergency contact numbers.
6. Boosts Safety Awareness
Proper signage can also help create a strong safety culture throughout your warehouse.
A well-organized ceiling signage program visually reinforces the above and keeps employees focused on maintaining a lean environment.
Type of Warehouse Safety Signs
Well-displayed warehouse safety signs are a vital part of efforts to create a safe working environment. Signs can be used to prohibit actions or ban specific items, remind individuals of actions or behaviors that must be followed for the safety of themselves and others, alert plant personnel and visitors to potential hazards and provide critical information that helps workers during emergencies.
Common types of warehouse safety signs include:
Warehouse safety signage, specifically in aisles, can be suspended from the ceiling and is designed to be diverse depending on location and should communicate specific information.
It is particularly important to place warehouse safety signs in loading and unloading areas of the warehouse because these spots are where forklifts frequently circulate, and proper signage can help direct these vehicles to minimize risk.
These signs should clearly and accurately mark load capacities on racks. Workers will be more aware of not overloading equipment when this type of warehouse safety signage is installed.
Health and Safety Risks
It is necessary to display signage to ensure the health and safety of people entering the warehouse, particularly visitors, who must be aware of potential dangers.
Warning and Danger
Warning signs will alert employees and visitors to potential hazards on site, and danger signs will warn of specific hazards on site.
Other Types of Warehouse Safety Signs:
- Emergency exit signs
- Locations of fire extinguishers
- Hazard Signs
- Authorize personnel only signs
- Location of first aid and other medical equipment
- Assembly areas in case of emergencies
Ceiling Outfitters® Solutions for Hanging Warehouse Signs
Well displayed signs from the ceiling are a vital element of any warehouse. The adaptability and easy visibility of hanging signs help employees and visitors move around the warehouse easily and safely.
Ceiling Outfitters offers several systems and connecting hardware to help hang any type of sign from a warehouse ceiling.
The system allows the installer to reach ceilings up to 27 ft. and install and remove the signs from the safety of the floor. There are four components
- MagPole™ – This is our telescoping installation pole. There are 4 models to choose from depending on your ceiling height.
- The MagMover™ – This device attaches to the top of the MagPole to transport the sign to the ceiling with the ClikMagnets attached and then retrieve the sign with the built-in corkscrews.
- ClikMagnets™ – The magnets are made from rare-earth neodymium material and will not lose their magnetic pull over time and are available in a 5lb., 10lb, and 20 lb. pull strength.
- LoopLine™ – LoopLine is a hanging cord with two-inch-long consecutive loops. It is available in 25lb. tensile strength in 82-foot and 328-foot spools. It connects the sign to the ClikMagnet.
Create secure connections for visual installations requiring steel cable with our adjustable UrbanTrapeze® Cable Grippers.
Each UrbanTrapeze Cable Gripper securely attaches to a 7X7 uncoated galvanized steel cable using a built-in brake. Adjust the device by pressing the clutch button.
- In-Line Loop Model 1.5 – form a secure connecting loop in 1/16-inch cable with a holding power up to 48 lbs. for a dynamic load of 80 lbs. for a static load.
- In-Line Loop Model 3.0 – form a secure connecting loop in 1/8-inch cable with a holding power up to 170 lbs. for a dynamic load and 300 lbs. for a static load.
UrbanTrapeze® In-Line Panel Holder
Hang printed sign panels from the ceiling using the UrbanTrapeze Panel Mounting hardware with built-in cable adjuster and steel cable.
- In-Line Panel Holder – works with .375-inch-thick materials with pre-punched holes, use with 1/16-inch uncoated cable, and is rated at a 30-lb. holding capacity.
Allows for quick and easy connections and disconnections when hanging signs in the warehouse.
- In-Line Gated Hook – hook closes with spring-loaded gate, use with 1/16-inch uncoated cable, and is rated at a 30-lb. holding capacity.
FlatHat creates a reachable and fixed connection point that allows you to hang signs from ceilings over 27 feet tall without a ladder or lift.
For more information on FlatHat reach out to us at email@example.com or call us at 877-866-2545 to learn more about this innovative sign hanging system.
Look to Ceiling Outfitters to help implement your ceiling signage program. Our proven systems and hardware help make sign installation and management in your warehouse or production facility fast, safe and easy. Reach out with any questions you have about which products to choose for your program.
About Ceiling Outfitters:
Since 2007, Ceiling Outfitters has partnered with over 2,000 national organizations including 22,000 retail store, manufacturing, education, and hospitality locations. Ceiling space and storefront windows are optimal visual display locations and we help customers utilize these areas safely, quickly, easily, and more economically.