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The Importance and History of Safety Signs and Retail Signage

The Importance of Safety Signage

Throughout history, signs have played an important role in keeping us aware of our surroundings and grabbing our attention. Advertising and retail signage has actually been around for centuries. From ancient Egypt to Times Square in modern-day New York, signage has been hard to miss. Many of these are commercial advertisements, but others are safety signs that are put in place to protect the public. Safety signage is obviously an important part of our society today, and has an important history in and of itself.


Safety signage has been in use for decades in order to guide our work behavior and training. It is designed to help us avoid dangerous hazards and injuries from unsafe equipment or materials, and it follows certain safety standards. However, oddly enough many people are often unaware of safety standards, which could be dangerous. Safety standards outline the safest practices that have been decided upon by certain safety organizations, and they usually outline what can be put on safety labels, messages, tags, and symbols. Each organization  usually has their own  safety system put into place as well that develops a strategy for how their company and employees will use signs and visual communication to make sure that a safe and comfortable work environment is created.


Many workplaces have a large array of safety signage visible within their facilities. From WHMIS symbols to stop signs, many of these signs have become ingrained into our brains so that we recognize them instantly, and have an automatic understanding of what they mean, but how did these safety signs come to be so recognized, and what standards have been put into place to regulate them?

Within North America, standards for safety signage were put into place as early as 1914 and are being used to an even greater degree today. The first legislation to outline workplace safety and signage was the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is still used today. This legislation outlines where safety signs in the workplace should be posted, and what text and symbols should be displayed on them.

Safety Awareness Week 2011

The reason for these safety standards is to make sure each sign has a specific and effective purpose. They outline certain degrees of danger, and are catered to suit each work environment. Safety signage in your workplace should be especially designed to suit your workplace and the hazards that go along with it. This will, and has been proven to, reduce injury and fatality within the workplace. When safety signage is used along with proper employee training and high-quality work equipment, then everyone in your workplace is guaranteed a much safer work environment.


There is another aspect to safety signage, however, and that is how the signs themselves should be hung.  While we have gone about making our workplaces safer with signage, we have, until now, neglected to make the process of installing signage safer. The retractable signage system that allows users to raise and lower ceiling signage without the use of a ladder has revolutionized the way businesses install overhead signs.   This self-leveling system is so effective, it is quickly replacing the unsafe ladder and heavy lifting methods in stores all across America and Canada.

We have worked for years to make our workplaces safer with safe retail signage.  Go the final step in making sure those signs are hung in the safest possible manner as well.


About the Author: Contact us today to learn how you can benefit from our safety signage systems. We have the easy-to-change retail signage system you need to prevent accidents and keep your employees and clients safe.




  1. Raghu Kumar says:

    All the safety signs and symbols are very important and useful in many places. Good blog post and was very informative to read. Thanks and keep posting more safety sign images.

  2. Sunil says:

    Good definitions. Safety signs are very important especially in construction places. It can help to avoid accidents and can also be life saver.

  3. Joy Butler says:

    I found it interesting when you said that safety signage has been in use for decades in order to guide our work behavior and training. And I definitely agree with your statement that signs have played an important role in keeping us aware of our surroundings and grabbing our attention. My cousin has a newly opened store beside their house but I think it has no signage yet, will be checking it once I visit her place.

  4. Amanda Drew says:

    That’s so interesting that safety sign standards were put in place as early as 1914 in North America. It’d be important that you know what the modern standards are so that you are able to comply with them. It’d probably help to find a company that knows just how to make safety signs for you.

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