Procedure: Safety signage
To describe how the University establishes, implements and maintains safety signage throughout the workplace. This procedure ensures that legal and other obligations of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth) are defined for managing the health and safety of all workers. This procedure has been created to meet the requirements of Australian Standard (AS) 1319:1994 – Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. This procedure is linked to the University’s Work health and safety policy and is one of the Safe Work Procedures within the WHS Management System.
Local area refers to a College, Research School or Service Division of the University.
Function refers to the purpose of a sign, e.g. to indicate prohibition or mandatory requirements, to warn, or to inform.
Legend refers to the message content of a sign in words (text) or symbols, or a combination of these.
Responsible person refers to the person in the local area legally responsible for the maintenance and management of safety and safety practices in a workplace or worksite.
Sign is an inscribed board, plaque or other delineated space on which a combination of legend and symbolic shapes are used to convey a message.
- The scope of this procedure applies to all buildings and areas of the University campus and aligns with the requirements as described in AS 1319-1994 Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. This procedure describes:
- Regulatory signage;
- Hazard signage; and
- Emergency information signage.
- This procedure does not cover fire signage nor construction signage. Facilities and Services is responsible for the management, installation and maintenance of fire safety signs and coordinating the development, erection and removal of signage for construction projects on campus. Major projects are responsible for the coordination of construction signage for non-Facilities and Services delivered construction projects.
- The following responsibilities are to be completed:
- local area management are responsible for ensuring this procedure is enforced;
- local area WHS Officers are responsible for assisting in implementing this procedure;
- supervisors are responsible for assisting and monitoring that this procedure is implemented within the areas of their responsibility; and
- all workers and visitors are to comply with safety signage as described in this procedure.
- Regulatory signs contain instructions with which failure to comply constitutes either an offence at law, or breach of standing orders, safety procedures or other directions, depending on which kind of control has been imposed at the worksite. They are subdivided as follows:
- Prohibition signs - signs that indicate that an action or activity is not permitted;
- Mandatory signs - signs that indicate that an instruction must be carried out; and
- Limitation or restriction signs - signs that place a numerical or other defined limit on an activity or use of a facility e.g. speed restriction. These signs are not covered by this procedure.
- Hazard signs advise of hazards. They are subdivided into danger signs and warning signs.
Emergency information signs
- Emergency information signs indicate the location of, or directions to, emergency- related facilities such as exits, safety equipment or first aid facilities.
Identification of areas requiring signs
- Areas requiring signage are identified through a number of mechanisms, including workplace inspections. Signage is to conform with the following:
- conform with Australian Standards (AS) 1319:1994 Safety signs in the occupational environment;
- contain appropriate warning and hazard information;
- be clear in purpose, visible and readable;
- be in good condition;
- not block vision through door vision windows; and
- where multiple signs are present, ensure all are necessary and do not contain conflicting information.
- Local areas with existing signage shall review the existing signage against the current usage. Where local areas have changed or hazards have changed then identification of the appropriate signage is to be made.
- Old signs must be removed when new signs are available.
- Local areas without signage shall review hazards in that area and identify any appropriate signage that would aid in the control of these hazards.
Provision of signs
- To aid in identifying the need for signage, the following examples can be used to provide guidance on the types of signage that may typically be required:
- If there is a need to indicate that an action or activity is not permitted, e.g. indicate restricted access to an undergraduate teaching laboratory preparation room, a prohibition symbol sign is required.
- If workers are required to wear personal protective equipment within the area, a mandatory symbol sign is required.
- If there is a need to identify areas that contain a particular hazard or hazardous condition that is likely to be life threatening, then a danger sign that identifies the hazard is required.
- If there is a need to identify areas that contain a particular hazard or hazardous condition that is not likely to be life threatening, a warning sign is required.
- If there is a need to indicate the location of, or directions to, emergency related facilities such as safety equipment or first aid facilities, an emergency information sign is required.
Chemical Hazard signs
- Signage needs to be in accordance with Dangerous Substances (General) Regulation 2004. Refer to Placard and manifest quantities in ‘A Guide to the Dangerous Substances Act 2004’ for minimum quantities when placarding becomes mandatory. Only a small number of local areas in the University may be required to follow the placarding requirements.
- All signs using symbols should be selected from the standard set described in AS 1319:1994 Safety signs for the occupational environment.
- If an appropriate symbol is not available, a local area symbol may be developed. All symbols developed should comply with AS2342:1992 Development, testing and implementation of information and safety symbols and symbolic signs.
- The following qualities are to be considered when determining the location of signage:
- visibility (must comply with AS 1428.4.1:2009 Design of access and mobility – Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment;
- siting of signs;
- should not present a hazard;
- should not be placed on moveable objects such as doors;
- illumination is to be considered in areas of poor lighting; and
- number of signs to be considered such that vital information is not lost amongst many signs.
- No additional training is required as part of this procedure.
Legal and other requirements
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)
Dangerous Substances Act 2004 (Cth)
Dangerous Substances (General) Regulation 2004 (ACT)
A Guide to the Dangerous Substances Act 2004
AS 1319:1994 – Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment
AS 1428.4.1:2009 Design of access and mobility – Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment
AS 2342:1992 - Development, Testing and Implementation of Information and Safety Symbols and Symbolic Signs