Safety symbols in the work environment
Safety symbols need to be used to warn employees about residual risks. According to the EU Machine Standards this entails information which is easy to understand, in the form of symbols or pictures on the machine. These symbols warn for risks that could not be eliminated in the design of the machine or additional safety measures. The texts accompanying these symbols need to be stated in the official language of the country in which they are being used.
First all safety measures should be taken in to account in the design and material of the machine to eliminate as many risks as possible. Then necessary additional safety measures need to be established in order to lower the risks even more. If there are still some residual risks, employees/people using the machine should be informed on these risks.
So, if it is not possible to fully rule out all risks, the operator of the machine should be warned for these residual risks. An option would be through safety symbols, they are easy to read, and understand.
Type of symbols
There are five different types of symbols. There are warning, location, command, prohibition and (escape) route pictograms.
Command- and prohibition pictograms (M-series & P-series): These symbols represent multiple different rules in the workplace. Command symbols describe instances in which you need to do or wear something. Think of a place in which you need to wear safety clothing. Prohibition symbols show when you are not allowed to do something. For example, when you are not allowed to smoke in a certain area.
Warning symbols (W-series & G-series): Just like the name, these symbols are here to warn you. Because of these symbols dangerous situations can be avoided. You can find a warning pictogram next to an automatic restarting machine.
Location symbols (F-series & E-series): These pictograms are essential during calamities. They depict where the AED is, or where you can find the nearest fire extinguisher.
(Escape) route symbols (E-series): These are mostly used in combination with location symbols. The escape route symbols, are just as important during a calamity. These green symbols ensure you can find your way to the nearest exit.
Underneath you can spot some symbols you might encounter while working.
With Brady’s label printers you can print all symbols whenever you want. Print smaller labels with the portable M611 printer, or print much larger labels with the benchtop S3100 label printer. Using the Brady Workstation software you can easily edit and personify your labels.