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How Warning and Instructional Plates Can Help Your Business

Updated on February 3, 2015
Warning and Instructional Plates
Warning and Instructional Plates

If you are running a business, especially one where numerous dangers and life-threatening situations abound, then these warning and instructional plates are a necessity. These tell people what to avoid and how to keep themselves safe with warnings and cautionary messages. This is not the only things that these metal plates do, however. These plates can do a whole lot more.

While their primary use is indeed to help keep people safe with the messages that they carry, such plates can actually serve a number of other purposes. To help you understand what these plates can do to help you and your business, here are some of the many uses these metal nameplates have.

Pinch Point Warning and Instructional Plate
Pinch Point Warning and Instructional Plate

Uses of Metal Nameplates That Are Primarily Used for Warnings

Of course, the primary use, as mentioned earlier, is for warnings and cautionary messages. These are placed on various equipment and items that may pose some threat to a person’s wellbeing. Some of these warnings may even carry images that show you what may happen to you, like pinch points and dangers of severed body parts. And others may carry pictograms that tell you what you should avoid in the area, like electrocution and the high-voltage that is present in the area.

Aside from these, you will also find that a number of these informational metal plates carry instructions for proper machine and equipment operation. These will tell operators of these machinery what the proper steps need to be followed in order for a person to operate the equipment safely. Steps will include how to start the machine, what steps will follow as soon as you turn the key, and how to safely maneuver the machine around, if maneuverability is one of the things that these can do.

Another thing that these plates can do is to tell people what safety gear they need to wear. Some equipment need users to wear clothing and accessories (like gloves and hats) that can keep them safe from whatever may happen while they are operating such things. These are called personal protective equipment, or PPE. These pieces of clothing are often padded, have protective armor, and are designed to keep a person generally safe from falling objects, bumps, and bruises.

If you have equipment or areas in your facility that require a person to not do something in order for them to keep safe (like places where buttons should not be pushed or levers should not be pulled), these plates can be used to do that. You can mark these with a header that says Caution or Danger. You can then explain why the person should not push or pull anything at the bottom of these headers.

OSHA Headers
OSHA Headers

Different Headers, Different Meanings

As we mentioned earlier, some of these plates may carry headers that either tell you there is some Danger in what you are about to do, or carries a Warning that you should heed. While some people may think that all of these headers mean the same thing, they actually do not. Yes, they do warn you and alert you to what dangers may lurk near these plates, but what you may not realize is that, what the header says will alert you to the level of danger present in the immediate area.

For example, if a warning and instructional plate carries a sign that says Danger, then you should be extra careful since this particular header means that misuse of the equipment or being careless will mean certain death or severe injuries. The second most dangerous header on the list is the Warning header. Having this on anything will tell you that there is a high chance of severe injuries and even death.

The two headers that portend of lesser dangers are Caution and Notice. Caution is used when the equipment or area presents a danger that can bring about minor injuries and Notice is used to alert people that there is a message to be read. The message may be a simple reminder of what PPE to wear in the area, or a list of dos and don’ts for safety. These metal nameplates should not be ignored, no matter what is written on them, and your business should always employ these in and around its premises to help keep people safe.


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