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Creating Safer Workplaces: A Checklist for Auditing Safety Signs

Keeping employees, customers, and spaces safe is always serious business. A key aspect to workplace safety is performing regular safety sign audits. These audits will ensure that your safety signs are clear and visible, compliant with regulations, and serve their purpose overall. We prepared an easy checklist to guide you through the process to help you prepare for your next safety sign audit.

Safety Sign Audit Checklist

While there are specific professional organizations that can perform safety audits, you can start with these basic preventive measures to keep your business safe:

1. Understand Regulatory Requirements
Before conducting a safety sign audit, it’s important to familiarize yourself with various safety organizations and their regulatory requirements, and how they apply to your business:
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) – covers design, placement, and maintenance of safety signs.
  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute) – focuses on sign colors and symbols.
  • ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) – ensures that your signs are inclusive to people with disabilities.
  • ISO (International Organization for Standardization) – offers global standards for safety signs.
  • NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) – provides guidelines related to fire safety.

Aside from regulatory requirements of safety organizations, remember to stay updated with local and state regulations and ensure that your business is compliant with these rules.

2. Identify Types of Safety Signs and Their Color Codes
Learning safety sign regulations involves knowing the types of safety signs used in workplaces and their color codes. Make sure to recognize each type, understand what the symbols mean and how they’re used, and identify what their color codes indicate. Below are some examples of safety signs:
  • Warning Signs. These are signs that inform about potential hazards and are usually orange with black text and symbols.
  • Mandatory Signs. These have a blue background and white text. They indicate actions that must be taken in the workplace.
  • Prohibition Signs. They convey information that is not allowed in the workplace. These have a red circle with a diagonal line crossed over a black symbol or text.
  • Emergency Signs. These have a green background with white text and symbols. They share information directing readers where emergency exits, equipment, and first aid kits can be found.

3. Plan Your Safety Sign Audit
When planning a safety sign audit, start by defining your goals like meeting regulations or improving safety. Next, gather your team, including safety officers and staff from various departments. Finally, choose an audit schedule that won’t disrupt daily operations.

4. Prepare for the Audit
Prepare for the audit by gathering and reviewing necessary documents like safety regulations, past audit reports, and your business’ safety policies. Focus on recurring issues and areas to inspect such as entrances, exits, assembly points, parking areas, fire exit doors, roof access, security, reception areas, bathrooms, corridors, stairwells, and elevators.

5. Conduct the Audit
During your safety sign audit, ensure that all signs are visible to employees and visitors, readable, and away from any obstructions. Check that they are placed at an eye level where hazards might occur and assess their condition for wear, damage, or fading. Verify that the information on the signs is current and accurate, and replace any signs as needed.

6. Document Findings
Remember to keep a record of everything when conducting a safety sign audit. This helps you create a detailed report that outlines the actions and changes needed moving forward. Be thorough with your notes, take photographs of any issues you find, and use them to write a comprehensive report with recommendations for improvement

7. Create an Action Plan and Implement Changes
After writing a detailed report and evaluating your findings in the safety sign audit, you can start creating an action plan and implement corrective actions like replacing any old or damaged signs, installing additional signs, or removing ones that are redundant. If possible, hire safety officers from third-party agencies. These professionals undergo proper training to get certified and they can also conduct safety workshops for your staff. This way, you and your team remain updated on safety regulations.

8. Follow up for Continuous Improvement
Safety should always be maintained in the workplace. To improve your company’s safety measures, schedule regular follow-up audits to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness. Check how well the changes work and implement changes as necessary.


Conducting a safety sign audit is important for keeping your business or workplace safe for everyone. Through this checklist, you can ensure your safety signs are clear, up-to-date, and abide local regulations. Remember that regular audits not only improve safety but also encourage responsibility among workers and employers.

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