Signs and symbols helping people avert crisis

9:37 PM
In most places such as educational institutes, hospitals, shopping complexes and construction sites, you should see health and safety warning signs. Such internationally recognised signs signal these message of an impending danger or what to do in case of an emergency situation. These signs are made in such a manner that everyone regardless of what language they speak, are able to derive the meaning at the instant. Some common signs such as No Entry, No Smoking, School Ahead, Drive Safely, help one to avoid an emergency or crisis of any kind.

Why do we need such signs
  • The signs are universally accepted and adhere to international standards.
  • These signs signal emergency to an individual who might not be native to a specific country. So, these signs do not require a person to know a language. The signs are signal enough of the message it has to convey to an individual.
  • The use of health and safety warning signs help prevent potential hazards, restrict access to certain places or to make sure for workers employed in construction sites to wear protective equipments during work and in case of an emergency.
  • Other signs such as keeping fire exit doors open, evacuate certain areas, restricting access to certain areas are some of the messages they convey.
  • The present law states that all health and safety warning signs used must comply with European Normative BS EN ISO 7010. This was also made into the pan European law in 2013.
  • The above law standardises these signs and symbols so that they are recognised by all nations that are a part of the European Union.
  • The law has prescribed the shape,colour,and the graphical symbol to be used in these signs.
  • These symbols were tried and tested across all European Union nations to make sure that the symbols used were easily comprehensible and readable.
  • These signs also help people with poor eyesight, reading problems and other disabilities.
  • The concept of workers safety has recently also emerged as a fundamental part of human rights. This is seen as a solution to ensure their safety and helps them to understand if and when a danger like situation arises and how to avert them.

The Health and Safety Regulations Act of 1996 required employers to make sure of these health and safety warning signs. This was to ensure their safety in times of danger. This act bring home the fact that there cannot be any substitute for safety signs to control employee risk. The signs warn employees or anyone else of potential risks and instructs employees of the measures to be undertaken in times of an emergency or a situation where an emergency is most likely to occur. Even under normal circumstances,one must always be prepared of an emergency. Afterall, prevention is better than cure. The stress on minimising hazards and its effects is one that must be lauded. These signs when used benefits all from dangers or from potential dangers that may or may not arise.

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