If you are an employer you are required by law to display certain federal, state, and OSHA safety posters in specified areas of your workplace. Safety posters help comply with these laws and help convey straightforward safety messages as well as maintain a safe work environment. Having an effective safety training program will inform and remind your workforce of potentially hazardous areas and situations, however, a safety poster will not replace or compensate for inadequate safety training and management.

Choosing a Safety Poster

The types of safety posters that need to be displayed will depend on the individual workplace environment, the type of work being done, and the US state that the business is located in. Regardless of the type, the overall purpose of your safety poster will be to encourage the awareness of your workforce and to strengthen their safety knowledge.

Federal and state regulations have control over the specific safety posters that are required in the workplace. Some employers, however, should consider posting additional health and safety information outside of what is required to ensure his workforce is adequately protected. Here are a few key points to consider when deciding upon or designing a safety poster for your workplace.

Communicate a Relevant Message – Your safety poster should be relevant to the particular work environment and have all of the applicable information to communicate a clear safety message. Here are a number of topics that can be used in a safety poster.

  • Bus Safety
  • Chemical Safety
  • Confined Spaces
  • Construction Safety
  • Driving Safety
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Environmental Safety
  • Eye Protection
  • Fall Protection
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid
  • Food Service Safety
  • Foot Protection
  • Forklift Safety
  • Hand Protection
  • Head Protection
  • Healthcare Safety
  • Hearing Protection
  • Infection Control
  • Ladder Safety
  • Lifting Safety & Back Injuries
  • Lockout Safety
  • Machine Hazards
  • Materials Handling
  • Office Safety
  • Oilfield Worker Safety
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Seasonal Safety
  • Skin Protection
  • Tool Safety
  • Transportation Safety
  • Truck Driving
  • Welding Safety
  • Workplace Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • Workplace Safety
  • Workplace Stress
  • Workplace Violence

Use Straightforward & Direct Messages – The communication or text within the safety poster should be easily understood and be without ambiguity. Getting the full attention and interest of your workforce should be the central idea behind any communication. It will ultimately be more effective and grab the interest of your employees.

Use Color Graphics & Fonts – Using bright colors and graphics to illustrate the safety message has proven to be more of an effective communicator than a message in plain black and white.

Use Images instead of Text – Images and illustrations attract more attention than text alone. Safety posters that utilize a picture followed by a brief statement can be more effective. Posters that contain mostly print will typically not be as effective as posters with images.

Safety Poster Location & Placement

Safety posters should be added to strategic locations to help notify employees of certain hazards and to ensure a safe working environment. Displaying them in frequented areas such as break rooms, restrooms, and elevators will help contribute to a more successful safety program. Also be sure to adhere to any federal or state government regulations such as OSHA requirements mandating that certain posters be displayed in particular areas of the workplace.

Free OSHA Safety Posters

OSHA offers free posters and publications to anyone that asks. They can be downloaded and printed from OSHA’s Official Publication Page. The publications, posters, fact sheets, etc., can also be ordered through the publications office.

It is necessary for all employers to continuously display a poster arranged by the Department of Labor that lets employees know about the protections that are afforded to them under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where it can be easily viewed by all employees.