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Can Your Warning and Instructional Plates Help Save Lives?

Updated on January 1, 2014
Warning and Instructional Plates - Caution Plate
Warning and Instructional Plates - Caution Plate

Saving lives and keeping people safe from harm is one thing that warning and instructional plates are made for. These plates are placed near or on equipment and areas that present a danger to the people who use them or are near them. These metal nameplates are a great addition to any safety program and should always be part of your safety plans.

While these plates are said to be a good tool to help people avoid accidents in the workplace, can these plates actually save lives? Is the use of such metal nameplates enough to help keep people from losing life and limb when using machinery and equipment that come with a certain level of danger? What should you do to ensure that these plates are indeed doing what they should do, and that is to help keep people safe?

Warning and Instructional Plates - High Voltage
Warning and Instructional Plates - High Voltage

What to Do to Make Your Warning and Instructional Plates More Effective

In order for your warning and instructional plates to do what these are supposed to do (and that is to warn people of the dangers equipment have, and instruct them of the proper use for safety reasons), you will need to ensure that people know exactly why these exist in the first place. You will need to inform your employees, as well as your visitors, that these plates are there for a good reason and ignoring them is not a good idea. To further help you raise the effectiveness of these metal nameplates, here are a few more suggestions:

Ensure that only people who are trained and certified to operate dangerous equipment do operate these. – This is one way to make sure that nothing untoward happens in your facility. Having only those who are certified and trained to operate certain machinery in your establishment do so will decrease the chances of accidents happening. This is because these people generally know how to work such equipment safely and effectively. They know all the procedures that need to be followed for safe operation and what safety gear is needed for it.

Hold a safety seminar every few months to refresh everyone’s memory regarding your safety protocols, which includes the following of instructions found on these plates. – Constantly reminding people of the reason why these plates exist in the first place will help cement in the minds of your employees that it is important that what is written on these plates is taken seriously. A regular safety seminar will help keep people informed of the dangers that can be found within the workplace as well as where these safety plates can be found and what is written on each one. These information drives will also remind people that these plates are there for a good reason and that is to help keep them safe from harm.

Clean these plates regularly to help keep them from deteriorating and being hard to read. – More often than not, accidents happen with such machinery not because people did not read these metal nameplates, but because they were hard to read. This is usually because of the grease and grime that may be on these plates, making the warnings on them rather difficult to make out. It is a good idea to not only have these on your machinery, but to also keep these clean and easy to read with a regular maintenance plan. Keep these plates clean and useful by having these cleaned at least once a month.

Replace worn out and faded warning and instructional plates regularly. – While these are indeed durable enough to last a long time, time will still have an effect on these plates and the natural fading as well as wearing out of these plates is expected. Try to have a maintenance and replacement program in place for these plates to help ensure that these can be read by whoever sees them all the time. Make sure that, aside from regularly cleaning these plates, that you check for fading and deterioration in order for you to determine when you should replace your plates with new ones.

These are a few of the things you need to do in order for your warning and instructional plates to do their jobs properly. After all, what is the use of having safety warnings like these if they cannot be used to do just that – to help keep people safe from harm.

Warning and Instructional Plates - Danger
Warning and Instructional Plates - Danger


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