Safety Colours: How They Are Used To Protect You In The Workplace

Colours play an important role in enhancing the safety of individuals in public places as well as other work settings. Eye-catching colours can be used to alert people about an impending threat or risk that could lead to severe repercussions. In fact, there is a wide range of industry specific standards related to safety colours that have been introduced by organisations, but they all generally relate to the Australian Standards – AS 1318: Industrial Safety Colour Code.

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Key Colours to Enhance Safety

Some of the major safety colours are red, yellow, green and blue. The Australian standards outline which colours are to be used to outline which hazard or risk factor purpose. Typical uses of the colours include;

  • Red colours are used to identify locations of danger, fire protection equipment and apparatus, stop buttons and emergency stop controls.
  • Yellow colours are used to identify when areas of caution should be exercised as well as cautionary notes of a general nature. Yellow markings are also specifically related to radiation hazards and the presence of radioactive materials.
  • Green colours are used to denote safety and the location of first aid equipment and safety response equipment, excluding firefighting equipment.
  • Blue colours are used to display mandatory information or messages of a general nature.

Many warehouse safety products use safety colours as they help to reduce the incidence of accidents and identify potential hazards.

Danger can arise at any place and at any time, so it is crucial to alert people. Some of the most common kinds of risks that are indicated by the various eye-catching colour signage include:

  • Falling
  • Tripping
  • Caught in a pinch point
  • Getting burned
  • Striking
  • Slipping
  • Radioactive materials

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Red as a Safety Colour

The colour red is commonly associated with danger and alerts. Studies have shown that the human brain associates the colour red with intensity. The colour red, also triggers thoughts of danger and fear, hence why the colour is used in safety hazard identification. Many organisations use the colour in line with the Australian standards for danger and warning signs. While lettering, stripes and edging are used on most signs, the red colour should be the basic, solid background colour. As the human brain associates red with fear and negative consequences, it is an excellent choice for signs warning of danger.

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Yellow as a Safety Colour

Yellow is a safety colour that can be used to indicate a hazard. Yellow is commonly used in factories and on road working equipment. One of the key reasons for the high use of yellow colour is its eye-catching nature. Sometimes yellow signs might warn pedestrians and drivers of a probable hazard on a near roadway. This is because yellow is most visible colour from a distance during nighttime. As per the Australian standards, yellow is used as the basic safety colour that helps in marking physical hazards, used alone or with black markings.

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Green as a Safety Colour

The colour green has a surprisingly calming effect on the brain, because our brains associated the colour green with nature, health and tranquility. The colour green has been linked to health and wellbeing for centuries and as such, make it the optimum choice for safety signs linked to first aid. Generally, in workplaces, first aid signage is marked with green and white crosses and easily identifiable against other signage.

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Blue as a Safety Colour

Blue is commonly used in workplaces for branding and logos as it is perceived as a dependable, high quality and trustworthy colour. Consequently, when blue is used on warning signage, people instinctively trust or have confidence in the information displayed. Typically, blue signage in the workplace is used as a base or background colour to denote mandatory requirements that need to be followed. The information displayed could include the use of PPE, accident reporting or instructions to be followed by site visitors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are colours used to minimize the chances of hazards?

Colours basically help to communicate about a threat or risk to individuals. Thus, they are used to enhance their level of cautiousness and alertness. The knowledge relating to an impending threat can help people to avoid a hazard or minimize the impact of the hazard.

2. Why do road signs use bright colors like yellow and red?

Some of the most severe accidents take place on our roads. Thus, using safety colours like red and yellow is extremely common. These colours basically improve the level of visibility during the daytime and at night to help in preventing accidents.

3. Why is colour coding used in factories?

Various kinds of machinery and equipment are used in factories, which makes the environment hazardous. Different safety colours are used in factories as they help in alerting the workers about a risk or hazard. The use of colours helps in drawing attention towards a danger. This improved alertness minimizes the chances of accidents occurring.

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Safety colours are regarded to be powerful elements that can help to prevent hazards and risks. As colours can help in communicating hazards and enhancing safety, they are used in various settings where risks could arise. The proper awareness of safety colours can empower individuals to keep away from harm’s way.

If your workplace needs assistance in safety training, workplace signage, safety information or alike, look no further than Verge Safety Barriers. With an eye for safety, a passion for quality and a devotion to finding solutions, Verge Safety Barriers is second to none. Contact them today for all your workplace safety needs.