Making a Safety Impression: What People See When They Arrive On Your Property

signs make a safety impression

You work hard to make sure your facility is a safe work zone. But, you are responsible for more than just the interior of your buildings. Your employees, customers, and visitors’ experience with your company starts long before they reach your front door. 

As soon as anyone reaches your property entrance, their safety is your responsibility. Your commitment to safety should be evident as soon as your facility is in sight. Here’s how you can make a great first impression as people arrive on your property.

Front Gate

Your front gate is literally your first impression, so make it a great one! Make it easy for anyone arriving to understand where they need to go. If your facility has certain restricted areas or areas that require PPE, the front gate is a good place to make that known. When people don’t understand where to go, they can get frustrated and end up exactly where they shouldn’t be. Having the right signage at your front gate can start off their visit on the right foot.

Parking Lot

According to the National Safety Council, there are an estimated 50,000 crashes in parking lots every year. A lot of that is due to distracted driving. Making things clear for your visitors helps eliminate distractions and keep everyone safe. Here are just a few of the signs and markings your parking lot should have displayed.

Fire Lane Signs

The last thing you need if the unthinkable should happen and a fire breaks out, is to deal with cars blocking the fire trucks’ access to your building. Those precious minutes lost could cost lives. Fire lane signs and ground markings can clearly show that area as off-limits for parking. 

Parking Prohibited Signs

Other areas may be unsafe (or simply inconvenient) for parking. Marking these areas with signs makes it easy for drivers to understand that they should not park there. It helps to avoid confusion and possibly danger. 

Reserved Parking Spot Signs

Reserving some parking spaces for certain groups can be a great way to show your business cares about people. Here are just a few examples. 

Customer/Visitor Parking Signs

Do you have specific parking spots where you’d like your customers or visitors to park while they are at your facility? Don’t make them guess, mark them with signs so they can leave their car and be confident that they didn’t just park in an employee’s spot or some other off-limit parking space. 

Directional Signs and Stencils

Help visitors know which way to go. If you have a directional flow to your parking lot, make it clear.  Someone going in the wrong direction can be a hazard to everyone. 

Speed Limit Signs

Posted speed limit signs serve as a good reminder to slow things down. People get distracted and tend to drive too fast in parking lots. Frequent speed limit reminders bring them back to what they are doing and pull that foot off the gas a little.

Pedestrian Crossing Signs

When it’s car versus pedestrian, it doesn’t usually go well for the pedestrian. Establishing pedestrian crossings helps both walkers and drivers understand who has the right of way. It also helps to limit the areas where pedestrians cross over traffic lanes.

Entrance and Exit Signs

This may sound too obvious, but you don’t want to forget this. Clearly marked entrances and exits save everyone time and frustration. When drivers have to search too hard for something, it takes their mind and their eyes off the road in front of them and that leads to accidents. 

Security Cameras

Using security cameras to monitor and protect your business property is a common practice. While it is not required by law to inform your employees, customers or visitors that cameras are in use, it is a good idea. Posting a sign that says “video camera in use” or “video surveillance in use” is not only courteous, but it can also reduce theft and vandalism simply by letting people know they’re being watched. If you want to keep it light, go for a “Smile! You’re on camera!” sign

Front Entrance

Your front entrance is another great place to make a positive safety impression. If your facility has any PPE requirements or restricted areas, this should be posted near your entrance. It’s also important to post wayfinding signage to help your visitors know where to go to find what they need. As long as they know where to go, they’re less likely to wind up somewhere they shouldn’t be that could be hazardous. 

Along with signage, keeping welcome mats near your front entrance not only helps the look but can reduce mud and water on the floor, reducing the risk of slips and falls. 

Restricted Areas

We’ve already said that you should mention restricted areas by the front gate or front entrance to serve as early warning, but the area itself needs to be very clearly marked. Be sure that anyone seeing your signs can understand who is and is not allowed to enter the restricted area and what safety hazards might be beyond that threshold.

Back Entrance/Loading Dock

You want to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely behind your building as well as out front. Post signs to help delivery trucks find delivery entrances as well as loading and unloading zones. Keep your loading dock clearly marked so trucks do not back into it and your employees don’t go over the edge. 

Keep in mind areas where you do not want traffic or parked cars like fire lanes and in front of gates or doors. Clearly marking these areas can help avoid confusion. Even posting signs for wayfinding and identifying your trash or dumpster location can make it easier for people to navigate your backlot.

Amplify Your Safety Impression

Your company takes pride in nurturing a culture of safety. Put that on display for everyone who visits your facility from the moment they arrive. Go the extra mile and customize your exterior facility signs to add your company branding and amplify your safety impression. 

Proper signage and communication create an environment that is welcoming and encouraging. It shows that you take safety seriously and that’s a first impression every company should want to make.

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