An Overview of Different Types of Signs for Commercial Spaces

Signs are everywhere in our daily lives. Whether you’re driving on the freeway or visiting the grocery store, signage is ubiquitous. Signs can convey simple concepts in an increasingly complicated world. A well-placed safety sign can even save someone from injury or death.

What types of signs are there in the workplace? There are several different types of signs visible in many workplaces, most of them having to do with safety. They’re important and often required to be there by law. What are the five most common categories of signs? Read on to find out.

Prohibition signs

These signs state what is prohibited. They inform you of what you cannot do. Sometimes they tell you not to enter a certain area, or they illustrate certain activities that aren’t allowed, like smoking. They’ll typically feature an illustration of something (a person, cigarette, machine, etc.) that is circled and has a slash through it. The circle and slash are usually red because that color almost always means “stop.”

Mandatory signs

This type of sign is the diametric opposite of a prohibition sign. It tells you what you must do, or what is required of you. Mandatory signs are usually instructive and commonly feature a blue and white pictogram within a circle. Some examples of mandatory signs are:

  • Safety Goggles Must Be Worn in This Area
  • Hard Hat Area: Safety Helmet Must Be Worn
  • All Drivers and Visitors Must Report to Site Office

Warning signs

If you’ve ever seen a spill in a retail or grocery store, you’ve likely seen a small yellow fold-up sign placed on the ground, alerting patrons to a wet floor. This is a warning sign. Its goal isn’t to tell you what to do, but to simply make you aware of a clear and present danger within a certain space. They’re customarily yellow (indicating caution) and feature a black stick figure inside a triangle. They often exist to prevent minor injuries, not severe injuries or death.

Danger signs

What type of signs in the workplace are the most serious? Those would be danger signs. Unlike warning signs, these are there to prevent significant and potentially fatal injuries. The top half of the sign ordinarily has the word “Danger” written in white letters, surrounded by a red oval. That oval is set within a black rectangle. The bottom half of the sign indicates what the danger is. Some examples are:

  • Danger: Construction Area – Authorized Personnel Only
  • Danger: High Voltage
  • Danger: Hazardous Chemicals

Fire signs

Generally, fire safety and equipment signs are red rectangles with white letters. They may contain an illustration of the equipment they’re signifying, like a fire extinguisher or fire helmet. They should be easy to see due to their bright red color and location near fire alarms or fire extinguishers. The rectangular shape differentiates these signs from prohibition signs, and they can mark the location of fire alarm call points, fire alarm control panels and other essential firefighting equipment.

Call today to have your signs made

So, what are the five main categories of signs in the workplace? They are prohibition, mandatory, warning, danger and fire signs. If you need any of these signs for your business, call Sign It Up. We have over 15 years of experience crafting various types of signs for businesses, ranging from yard signs to vehicle wraps. Call us today to learn more.

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