Different Kinds of Warning and Instructional Plates

BY Rowena Taylor

Warning and Instructional Plates

What exactly are warning and instructional plates? These are plates that contain warnings, information or both and are attached to machinery or posted near areas where danger or special instructions are needed. These plates let you know what you need to do, what to avoid and what to look out for in order for you to either keep safe or operate equipment more efficiently.

Not all warning and instructional plates carry the same elements on them. In fact, what you will see on these tags can vary greatly from one to the other. This is because these customizable metal nameplates are made according to the requirements of each client, and as such, with the varied needs of such entities, what you see on these plates can differ from one plate to the next.

There are a few general “categories” that you can find these in however, although these are not official categories. These are just classifications according to what is commonly being used by numerous industries everywhere. Here are some of the more commonly used types of these warning and instructional plates and what they are used for:

Instructional plates – as the name implies, these gives out instructions on the use of equipment, machinery or whatnot. These can be written in numbered steps, bullet form, or in paragraph, depending on the preference of whoever ordered these plates. You will find these often attached to equipment and machinery that require a number of steps to be performed for proper operation. These are attached to these items to ensure that whoever uses them will follow the proper steps for operation to ensure that the equipment is used properly and safely. This is to avoid accidents, as well as damage to the machinery or equipment being used.

Safety plates – these are, as the name suggests, plates used to help ensure the safety of whoever sees them. These can be seen attached to either equipment that pose a certain danger when used, or in areas where certain hazards can be found. You will find that these plates can carry warning headers that correspond to the level of danger that can be expected in the area. Plates that come with headers such as Danger and Warning are considered the plates that warn of the most dangerous of hazards since these can either cause serious injuries or even death. Caution and Notice headers warn of lesser dangers, but dangers nonetheless, with possibilities of injuries occurring if these plates are not heeded.

Safety Equipment plates – somewhat similar to safety plates, these are kind-of a cross between instructional plates and safety ones. These tell users of equipment and machinery what to wear or use for safety when operating these things. Equipment that are usually designated for use with these include safety boots, headgear, ear protection, eye protection and clothing. These plates can carry easy to recognize pictograms along with the warnings and instructions found on them. These also tell users that failing to wear such protective gear can actually put them in harm’s way.

Voltage plates – ever see plates with the lightning symbol on them attached to machinery, equipment or areas near such electrically charged items? These are voltage plates and these serve to both warn and tell people of how much electricity is in the area, as well as what danger these present. These usually come with a Danger header, and warnings such as “Keep Away”, “High Voltage”, “Keep Out”, and so on. The images on these plates can vary from one to the other, with some having the lightning bolt found within a hand pictogram, which says to stop or keep away, and others having this same lighting symbol in a triangle.

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