Safety Signs are Compulsory for Construction Sites Australia-wide.

  • Date11 September 2020
  • Reading time 5 mins read

Australia construction sites are expected to maintain a certain safety standard, there are no exceptions to the rules when it comes to safety in these types of conditions, where danger or even fatality could be just one wrong step away. 

Before any construction is to take place there must be adequate signage displayed around the site. Not displaying signage appropriately could lead to large fines - these fines are easily avoidable however by just putting up the correct signage the first time around.

Different signage is required depending on the job at hand and it's level of complexity. 

There are 4 basic categories when it comes to signage in Australia, they are; 

Mandatory Signs: 

These signs, as stated in the name, are mandatory, there is no choice in the matter. They are recognised having a blue background with white writing in the forefront and are utilised for safety equipment requirements on a site or to display an action that must be carried out before commencing work.

Examples include - Ear and eye protection required, Hard hat zone and Foot protection required.

Warning Signs: 

Warning signs are used to point out already known hazards or hazardous materials, they have a yellow background with either some black text or a black image on them. The general consensus for Warning signs is that an individual will not be in imminent life-threatening danger.

Examples include: Slippery when wet, Low voltage electricity and Asbestos Containing Material

Danger Signs:

These signs are the real deal and mean you could be in the presence of hazards that could be fatal or cause serious illness. These signs have a red oval shape with the word “danger” written in white for the foreground against a black background.

Examples include: People working above, Explosive Powered Tools In Use and Asbestos Containing Material

Emergency Signs:

Emergency signs can be recognised by their green background with a white image or writing in the foreground. They are used to identify the presence of any emergency- related facilities - they indicate where an individual can find exits, first aid and safety equipment.

As well as the categories mentioned above there are others you may come across on a worksite, these are;

Site Directions - These are not compulsory but certainly help guide contractors or other visitors to the onsite office for inductions and other sign-in procedures.

Prohibition Signs - Simply these signs just display what is banned on certain sites. They have black text or images on a white background with the famous red circle with a line through the middle to signify something is prohibited. Restricted entry, No naked flames and No cameras are good examples.

Fire Signs - A fire sign will let all on-site know where they can find fire extinguisher(s) for when they are needed in an emergency.

On top of your regular aforementioned signage, there are important requirements for mesh signage on temporary fencing too. 

Mesh banners are made from extruded polyester enabling better print quality (for signage) and a smooth finish. The signage on mesh banners is often seen used for; new housing estates and of course construction sites. The mesh banners are important for such sites since they limit the amount of dust and debris being emitted from a worksite, are an important safety measure (for example; by preventing motorists getting distracted by the work taking place thus limiting the chances of an accident), they also create a certain amount of privacy as well as create good advertising for a project, event or brand.

Installation of mesh banners is imperative to the lifespan of each print due to the harsh conditions outside that are bound to take place.  

Fire-resistant mesh is very important on worksites too, even though Safe Work Australia has “no current Australian standard” for such mesh banners. In more recent times there have been crackdowns on the requirements for construction workers to utilise the fire-resistant mesh on sites to prevent the spread of materials, dust and debris going outside of the worksite.

As you can see, displaying these kinds of signs is imperative in assisting everyone on-site and keeping dangerous materials in. Signage helps individuals know exactly what is going on at all times and also where they can find certain areas of a site and the risks associated with each one. Safety signs can really be the difference between life and death, making it such an imperative part of a construction site.

Within Australia we are all given a lot of freedom when it comes to most things, causing some to get confused when it comes to certain rules, but when it comes to appropriate signage on a construction site there is no field of grey, it is clear black and white with the compulsory requirements related to each sign. 

If you’d like more detail on what your work-site needs displayed you can contact Safe Work Australia to ensure you’re doing the right thing by the law.


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