Driving garage and workshop safety through signage
- 3rd February 2022
- 4:10 reading time (ish)
- 794 words
Garage and workshops can be dangerous places. From moving vehicles and heavy machinery to fuel supplies and compressed air, there are so many hazards in this environment that need to be carefully managed to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.
Managing the risks
The very nature of the job poses numerous risks to garage and workshop mechanics. In fact, due to the materials and equipment used within a garage, these risks can ultimately result in serious injury if proper safety measures are not in place.
Trip and fall accidents are common in a garage or workshop, as viscous fluids such as brake oil and grease are used regularly. If these fluids end up on the floor, they pose a real health hazard.
Mechanics also work with flammable and toxic materials. These can cause burns, skin and eye irritation and even lung damage if workers are exposed over a long period of time.
Manual handling injuries are also common, with mechanics lifting and moving heavy vehicle parts throughout the day. From strained backs to muscle strains and lacerations, caution must be employed when handling such equipment.
These are just a few of the risks that face garage and workshop workers. But there are also hazards for customers who are bringing their vehicle in for an MOT, service, or repair. The forecourt is a busy place, with both mechanics and other customers moving vehicles around throughout the day. Without clear directional and informational signage, an accident is sadly highly likely.
A well-organised garage or workshop, with clear signage can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries significantly.
Alongside risk assessments and health and safety measures, any garage or workshop should ensure it has adequate signage in place to reduce risk and increase awareness to all working in or visiting the environment.
There are a range of signs that can boost safety, from danger and hazard signs to informational and educational signage. Here we recommend our top tips for creating a safe and efficient garage and workshop.
Informational signs clearly identify specific services and facilities to customers. Standard informational signs may include directions to the toilets, entrances and exits, and accessible routes through a building or forecourt.
When it comes to garage and workshops there are several specific informational signs that can be incredibly helpful, such as signs to specify customer parking areas, MOT testing bays and reception, waiting and viewing areas.
A well-signed forecourt and workshop can significantly reduce the risk of collisions and accidents and ensure that customers feel safe and protected during their visit.
A warning sign should make people aware of a nearby danger or hazard, such as toxic materials or dangerous areas. These signs display a symbol relating to the hazard in a yellow triangle with black edging. Clear black text making the danger clear sits on a yellow background.
In a garage or workshop these risks are aplenty. For example, the workshop or repair centre will have flammable fuels, compressed air and high-pressure gases onsite. It is vital that these substances are clearly marked for both workers and customers to see. Each sign should display the ‘danger’ text with a concise description underneath to communicate the hazard.
The forecourt isn’t without its risks, with moving vehicles all around. It is vital to not only provide directional signage to increase traffic flow, but to highlight this as a risk to increase awareness of the hazard and make people behave in a cautious manner.
Often warning signs are accompanied by an information sign too, for example if the hazard requires a specific action. In a garage or workshop this could be making customers aware of a tyre inflation area and asking them to keep clear. In some instances, the warning sign may even be accompanied by a prohibition sign, if the hazard poses a serious risk of injury or death, such as ‘work in progress’ / ‘do not move vehicle’.
Safe working loads
Safe working loads (SWL) signage is vital in a workshop environment. They are used on machinery to display the maximum capacity weight that can be lifted safely. It is important that the safe working load is displayed using a SWL sign to avoid injuries and accidents.
Get expert advice
Installing the right safety signage for your garage and workshop is a key part of your health and safety responsibilities.
Here at JPS Online, we have over 20-years’ experience of working with garage owners and mechanics to provide high-quality signage that boosts forecourt and workshop safety. Our product range includes engraved, printed and vinyl labels and signs, which can be made to order based on your exact specifications.
To find out how we can help you, get in touch today on 01285 650441.