The Impact of Signage in a Manufacturing Setting

impact of signage in manufacturing setting feature

You’ve probably heard that most people are visual learners rather than by some other method, such as verbal learning. According to some research, people acquire 75% of their knowledge visually. Undoubtedly this is one good explanation of why we see signs everywhere we go.

There are directional and safety signs in schools, hospitals, malls, restaurants and airports, as well as on the road. We are so used to seeing some of these that we may not even notice them half the time. But each has a function and each function is essential.

Manufacturing and industrial facilities are two other places signage is always found, and for good reason. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,383 workers in the United States were killed on the job in 2012. That number consisted of deaths from falls, electrocutions, caught in or between something and being struck by an object. Another unsettling statistic is that every 15 seconds a worker dies from a work-manufacturing accidents in workplace statrelated disease or accident and 160 workers have a work-related accident. As detailed below, in addition to safety purposes, proper and sufficient signage in industrial or manufacturing settings offer many positive benefits to a company.

Safety

With those sobering stats in mind, safety purposes are without a doubt the most important role of signage in a manufacturing or plant setting. This is especially true for companies which have dangerous jobs and areas within their facilities. This can be due to the product (think hazardous waste or high voltage) or the process (heavy machinery requiring extensive manual input) itself. Examples of some normal safety signs in these types of workplaces are “Operate With Caution”, “Warning: Biohazard”, “Danger: High Voltage” and “Caution: Watch Your Step”. Safety signage can also be critical to guiding visitors or delivery trucks throughout your facility without incident. Business owners placing these types of signs around their workplace help their employees become aware of dangers around them, comply with applicable codes and regulations and encourage safety at all times. Manufacturing signage can not only help prevent against work-related accidents and deaths but by avoiding such incidents have a positive impact on employee morale and productivity.

Employee Morale

Many companies have experienced higher employee morale in these types of settings by creating a safer workplace. Needless to say it is much easier to enjoy your job and look forward to coming to work when your colleagues and close friends aren’t injured or in some cases killed on the job. While no company ever intends to create an unsafe work warning biohazardenvironment, in fast-paced manufacturing settings where time is of the essence it is easy to overlook roles or processes that may prove to be dangerous. The more signage you have warning and instructing your employees, especially new ones, the safer your workplace will be. This, of course, assumes that the signage communicates clearly. The only thing worse than no signage at all are signs that are confusing and cause more problems than they solve. With clear and concise signage that is properly placed, you can help ensure that the morale of your workforce isn’t damaged by improper signage. And you can rest assured that the improved employee morale will lead to greater productivity from your employees.

Lower Employee Turnover

Put simply, when you have good safety and directional signs throughout your workplace, you will keep your employees longer. Your signage will help prevent against work-related accidents, which means they won’t have to leave for an extended period of time or quit because they’re injured or don’t feel safe in your facility anymore. This keeps your turnover rate from accidents down and that is something all businesses want. Not only do businesses retain more of their employees but they can also use their safety record as a recruiting tool to hire new employees.

Productivity

There are other benefits to placing signs in the workplace beyond safety and morale. If your manufacturing or industrial production facility wants to see increased productivity, visual signs are absolutely critical. Research has shown that everything from throughput, materials handling, floor and machinery needs, physical inventory and even defects have been positively impacted by visual signs. In short, when your employees know where authorized personnel onlythey’re going and feel safe in their specific work areas, then their morale will be up and they’ll be more productive and efficient in their jobs. Your business is only as good as its employees, so if they’re giving 110 percent and not confused in the workplace, then you’ll see the impact on the bottom line.

In addition to increased employee productivity, businesses with safe workplaces save a tremendous amount of money on workers compensation claims as well as missed work days due to illness or injury. Companies can effectively increase revenue and cut costs at the same time! It’s a win-win situation for your company and your employees.

Profitability

The increased productivity and lower costs related to workplace injuries and fatalities all lead to increased profitability. Many studies have shown that the impact is nothing short of significant. By taking care of your employees and ensuring a safe and efficient work environment the trickle down impact on the bottom line can be enormous. So while there may be some hesitation to focusing too much on signage and workplace safety measures, training, and implementation, the case for doing so is airtight.

Each business is different and has unique needs for different work-related signs. But whatever your business needs may be, work-related signs are needed to ensure the safety of your employees and visitors, as well as to make your production and delivery processes more efficient.

Dustin Heap

Before Signs.com, Dustin had several jobs after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. These included positions in two different SEO agencies and Everyday Health, a leading online health brand. He’s worked with both big and small businesses and lived in New York City, Toronto, and Salt Lake City. He currently does the marketing for Signs.com and has experience in a variety of areas under the digital marketing umbrella. Outside of work he loves spending time with his family, sports, books, wood fired-pizza, grilling and smoking meat, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.