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What are Warning and Instructional Plates For?

Updated on September 4, 2013
Warning and Instructional Plates
Warning and Instructional Plates

Why Warning and Instructional Plates are Important

You may have read somewhere that some industries use warning and instructional plates on their equipment and machinery. Why do these businesses use such plates and what exactly are these for? As the name implies, these are used to warn and instruct people. How they do this is usually dependent on what is written on them and where these are posted.

In a nutshell, warning and instructional plates are metal plates that are crafted to help increase safety awareness within a facility. Whether these are attached to a boiler, a tractor, a forklift or a mixer, each one plays a specific role. Depending on what is written on the plate, you can easily tell whether it is for safety purposes, for proper equipment operation or for both.

Where are these used?

Instructional Plates – you can easily surmise from the name itself that this plate is used to tell people what to do to with a specific piece of equipment or machinery. These plates are placed in strategic locations to help them operate something safely and effectively. These can carry steps for operation and a checklist for people to follow to ensure their safety when operating a particular machine.

Sometimes, these metal plates also tell people what safety gear to wear before operating anything. For example, if a piece of equipment has a tendency to splatter debris upward, a sign that requires a person to wear protective gear like goggles or masks may be attached to such a machine. If a machine needs to be checked before operating it, a like sign will also be placed on it to ensure that operators know this before doing anything.

Warning Plates – sometimes, machinery or equipment carry with them certain dangers. Even when you operate these effectively, or when you follow certain steps listed down on instructional plates for safe operation, there is still a possibility of accidents happening. This is why warning plates are attached to such machinery. These alert you to these possibilities of such things happening, keeping you aware and ready should something dangerous occur.

Aside from being used on equipment that people operate, warning plates can also be used on equipment that run on their own but present some danger should someone find themselves near it. Examples of warnings that are posted on these things include high voltage warnings, heat warnings and the like. People are told to be careful when near these things since accidents can happen if they go too near such equipment or machines and they do not exercise caution.

Do Not Discount the Need for These Plates

Warning and instructional plates may seem insignificant to those who do not encounter them, but to those who do so, these can easily mean the difference between life and death. Imagine being a tractor operator and not knowing whether the tractor you are to use requires certain start-up procedures for safe operation due to the absence of an instructional or warning plate. How about being a factory employee and not knowing if the piece of equipment you are handling carries with it certain dangers when you stand too near it?

These plates do serve a great purpose and that is to help keep people safe from harm when they operate such things. On the flip side, these plates also help keep equipment from breaking down due to improper use. With these plates posted on such machinery, you can be somewhat assured that the people who use them will indeed operate these the way these should be operated (unless of course if they neglect to read such plates before using the equipment).


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