Knowing the Importance of Warning and Instructional Plates

BY Rowena Taylor

Warning and Instructional PlatesDid you know that warning and instructional plates actually play a huge role in your company’s safety program? These plates, while some may not put that much importance on them, can actually save limbs and lives. These are essentially plates that tell people what to do, what not to do, what to avoid, what to wear, and so on.

You will find these plates on numerous things, however these are more often found on equipment, near machinery, in areas where dangers abound, and on items that require certain protocols for proper operation. These can sometimes be found on tools like drills, jackhammers, and saws; these can be seen attached to lawnmowers, harvesters, and tractors; these can be found on refrigerators, conveyor belts, and ovens. In other words, any item that may pose some threat to a person’s wellbeing, or may require specific instructions for proper operation, may carry such a nameplate.

These nameplates can carry different headers, such as Warning, Notice, Caution, and Danger. Each header represents a different level of danger, with one indicating a more dangerous situation than the following one. The header that lets you know that you are likely to suffer very serious injuries, or even die if you neglect to heed the warning, or instructions for use, is the “Danger” header. Warning headers tell you of the possibility of injuries, and maybe death, if instructions and precautions are not followed. Caution warns of possible minor injuries if proper operating procedures are not followed, or safety is not taken seriously. Notice usually just informs people of what to do, what not to do, and generally tells them to read what is written on the nameplate.

The importance of these plates to your establishment is in providing people with the right instructions for safe operation of equipment and machinery, and in warning them of the dangers of not following such instructions. These tags can also carry information on what to wear (safety gear) when operating such equipment, and what the absence of such gear may do to you. You will also find that some of these plates will warn you of the kind of danger that is present in an area or with a piece of equipment, such as pinch points, high voltage, and the like.

These plates are necessary not only for the safety of everyone who might venture into your establishment, worker or not, but also for the protection of the company. Many companies have found themselves in legal battles over the absence of such safety plates, with employees getting into accidents because they did not have such warning devices to tell them what to avoid or not to do. These plates can also help save the company money since they can avoid such litigation problems, as well as medical expenses that come with the absence of such plates.

The most important role these warning and instructional plates play, however, is in safeguarding lives. Telling your people that there is a danger in what they do, and reminding them to be careful of such dangers with the use of these metal nameplates, is indeed more crucial than saving money or following laws. A person’s life hangs in the balance when they operate dangerous equipment, and it is up to you to try and protect that life with the help of a constant reminder in front of them, via these metal warning plates.

Share on Facebook