Safety Signs Blog

Save money on security measures by spending a fraction of the cost on Warning Signs

14th October 2011 | Warning Signs

Posted by David Arnold

After the relative weightiness of recent articles, I am pleased to say today’s is a little lighter.

Putting fire regulations to one side, much of the reason for the growing prevalence of safety signs in the UK over the last twenty years has been off the back of health and safety law. Simplistically if there is a risk in or around a workplace, that business has a duty to tell staff and visitors about it – even if the visitors are not wanted in the first place!

In previous articles we have touched on how businesses that fail to adequately warn of a danger can easily become embroiled in a lawsuit of some kind. A good example of this is the article that discussed failing to tell burglars that razor or barbed wire could easily result in trespassers taking legal action against a firm. When issues like this are raised it is perhaps no wonder that many employers say phrases like “health and safety law gone mad”.

However, the angle that today article takes may change some people’s opinion about safety signs. They should not always be seen as grudge purchase. In some cases, they can be a great cost saver...

Last year, the company I was then working for asked me to visit a large office block in Sheffield. The owner of the business sat me down and told me he had just had the CCTV company in. He was staring down the barrel of a £2k install of this system on top of whatever the signs were going to cost.

Having bored him for ten minutes about the Data Protection Act 1998 we then got on to why he was installing the CCTV system in the first place. He alluded to minor incidents of the odd thing going missing in communal areas and him wanting to stamp it out.

As neither the Police nor his insurers were driving this CCTV initiative I felt obliged to point out that the signs alone may well be more than enough to deter any minor workplace thefts. I suggested by simply putting up a sign in the communal areas saying 24 hour CCTV in operation could do the same job as an actual CCTV system. Indeed, with cameras getting smaller and smaller, all he would have to do is put the signs near a smoke detector or security alarm PIR and the would-be thief should think twice.

The gentleman in question thanked me for my advice and promptly purchased just 6 CCTV signs for a total cost of £22 – some way short of the £2k he was originally going to spend. I walked away hoping that this would work for him but never expected to hear anything further. However, by chance, I met the same chap at this year’s Safety and Health exhibition in Birmingham where he proclaimed me to be a genius and did everything possible to buy me a beer as thanks.

Whilst regular readers of these articles will know I am clearly no genius, this anecdote may well make some businesses think differently about safety signs. Rather than being an unnecessary cost –they could well be a far more cost effective alternative to spending considerably more money on other security measures.

With this in mind any one of the following warning signs could well improve security at minimal expense:



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