How to Effectively Design Your Warning and Instructional Plates

Warning and Instructional PlatesWarning and instructional plates are used for a very specific reason and that is to keep people safe from possible injuries by warning them of dangers involved with certain machinery and equipment, while at the same time telling them of proper usage methods to also ensure no harm befalls them. With this said, how can you be sure that your plates are actually doing what they are suppose to be doing? And with these signs usually being custom made, how can you ensure that these are effective at helping increase safety awareness?

Making sure that these signs are effective at keeping people safe through warnings and information is all in how effectively you design these. In short, for these signs to be able to help keep people from injuries and even possible death, these have to be designed in such a way that whoever sees them understands what is written on them and can easily follow the instructions that are there.

How do you effectively design warning and instructional plates to make them do what they are supposed to? Here are some tips that may be helpful:

Make sure that you use the right warning header – warning plates and signs can carry a variety of headers that show people the extent of the danger that comes with the machinery or equipment involved. Knowing what these headers are and using the right ones for the kind of danger something presents will help people exercise the right amount of care and caution needed when operating such machinery or equipment.

Some of the headers you can use for these include Warning, Danger, Caution and Notice, among others. Whether you use ANSI or OSHA compliant headers, you should be aware what each header type is used for. The header that indicates a situation that will result in death, or serious injuries at the very least, if the warning plate is unheeded is Danger. The header that tells you there is a possibility of severe injuries or possible death is the Warning header.

Other headers that indicate lower levels of danger are the Caution and Notice header, in that particular order. Caution headers tell people to be careful since moderate injuries may result from carelessness or not taking heed of warnings. Notice headers can be used in the place of Caution headers if there is no possibility of injuries with careless actions but care should still be exercised to ensure that proper usage of equipment is practiced.

Ensure that the fonts you use are distinguishable and easy to read – some fonts can be so fancy that people can easily misread and misunderstand what is being said on your warning and instructional plates. To ensure that nothing bad happens to people using the equipment these plates are attached to, try to choose fonts that are easy to read, such as sans serif or Arial fonts. Try to avoid using fancy script or too artistic fonts on these plates since these are signs that are used to help keep people safe and not to impress them.

Also, you should make sure that the character sizes on these metal plates are large enough to read at a distance. Having signs that carry easy to read messages for safety is imperative if you want to increase safety awareness in your facility. Signs that are not easy to read and have very small text on them can easily defeat their purpose of being there in the first place.

These are just a couple of things you can do to ensure that warning and instructional plates that you have created and use are effective and useful. Making sure that these are crafted the right way is indeed the first step to ensuring everyone’s safety is taken care of.

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