Do safety signs lose their effectiveness?

| Mar 9, 2020 | Personal Injury

Sometimes trip hazards arise inside of public locations like a store or a mall. For example, a damaged floor could cause a person to trip and fall. Many properties respond by placing a warning sign at the hazardous site to warn people to stay away from it. However, property owners should not assume that they can leave a safety sign up and not take care of the problem in a timely manner.

According to Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, safety signs may offer a short term benefit because they warn pedestrians to avoid a place that could cause injury. However, a warning sign may start to lose its effectiveness if it constantly stays in place. Over time, the sign starts to become just a part of the overall environment. People may pass by it so frequently that they start to ignore it.

A warning sign is effective because it is out of the ordinary to see one. The fact that a safety sign is present should mean that a genuine hazard or danger exists. However, if pedestrians start ignoring the sign, they may also ignore the hazard that the sign cautions against. A person could even fall and suffer injury as a result.

Public locations should also place the proper safety sign in response to the hazard. Safety signs differ in their intensity. A sign with a “Danger” in red lettering indicates a hazard is nearby that can result in serious injury. However, an orange “Warning” sign only warns that a hazard might be present. The less urgent “Caution” sign, which has a yellow background, functions like a notice to exercise care while approaching the area.

With the use of a safety sign, public places perform an important function by cautioning people to stay away from dangerous areas. But property owners or administrators must also make the effort to repair or restore a place that can endanger a person. Otherwise, eventually even a warning sign might not be enough to prevent a serious personal injury.