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How to Use Safety Tags: The Complete Guide

In an ideal world, health and safety would not be an issue on your construction site. Every member of the team and even visitors would be well-rehearsed on the most appropriate safety measures. They would also know with just a look what areas and equipment were safe for use.

But that is an ideal world and, unfortunately, not our reality. So, how can we ensure everyone on our sites remains as safe as possible in an efficient and universally understood system?

The answer is safety tags and signs!

You might already have a stack of safety tags in your site’s office not being optimally used, or you may be setting up a new site and wondering what signage you need. Whatever your starting point, we have put together the ultimate guide on using safety tags to help you get started. We have tips for you whether you use bespoke signage or general safety tags.

What are Safety Tags?

Before we dive into the advice on how to use safety tags, let’s define what falls under this umbrella.

Safety tags are any signage used on site to warn or inform those in the vicinity of any dangers or safety protocols in place. They are clear, bold and eye-catching, displaying information in an easy-to-read format with accompanying easily recognisable graphics.

Typically, you will find a variety of safety signage on site, including warning, mandatory, prohibition, and safe condition signs. Not forgetting signs for specific equipment, which detail if the equipment is safe for use, when it was last checked and when another safety check is due.

So, once you have the safety tags, how can you ensure they’re used optimally and fully? Keep reading for a few simple tips you can follow.

Brief the Responsible Persons

The first step you need to take when implementing safety tags on your site is to appoint a responsible person to take charge. This person will be responsible for placing safety tags around the site and signing off on the information they contain. A cohesive and clear system can be implemented by ensuring one responsible person oversees the safety tag procedure. Ensuring no mixed messaging or confusion. Poor communication can be the downfall of the health and safety of your site.

When appointing a responsible person, you should ensure they are full-time employees to limit the risk of incidents while not at work. Additionally, they should be recognisable in a management position so the whole team knows who to go to if there are any issues.

Other characteristics of the responsible person can be trained. For example, they must possess excellent communication skills and be well-versed in best health and safety practices.

Choose Suitable Tags for your Workplace

Secondly, you should ensure you have the most appropriate tags for your construction site. There is a wide range of safety tags and signage on the market today, but not every tag will suit your workplace.

To help you get started, ensure you have the following safety tags.

Out-of-Order Tags

Out-of-order tags or ‘do not switch on’ tags signify if a piece of equipment should not be used. They are best implemented when equipment is not visibly broken or damaged but could cause harm when used or turned on.

Caution Tags

Suppose maintenance services are going to take place on a site when staff are present and working. In that case, caution tags must be utilised to ensure they are extra cautious and fully aware of any safety measures they should follow.

Inspection Record Tags

Dangerous equipment on your site requires daily inspection, and inspection records tags should be in place to ensure that this is routinely carried out appropriately. Anyone using the equipment should be able to clearly identify that a check has taken place and the equipment is safe for them to use.

Ladder & Scaffolding Tags

Tags specifically used for ladders and scaffolding are similar to inspection record tags. They will highlight if the equipment is safe for use and when it was last checked. However, they are also important to display weight restrictions and other important information needed for the safe and reliable use of this equipment to work at heights.

Keep an Eye on Signatures

Finally, the responsible person must keep an eye on the dates and signatures on the safety tags in place on a site. This ensures that they are being used to their full potential, with any necessary checks being up to date and recorded accordingly.

If safety tags are signed for but not dated, this could lead to confusion on when the last safety check was undertaken and when the next one needs to be. Potentially, this could result in hazardous equipment not being checked routinely.

Similarly, safety tags that have been dated but not signed can confuse other members on site in terms of who to go to if there are any problems. It can also mean that if a safety check has not been conducted appropriately and an accident happens, there is no clear individual to take responsibility for the issue.

By following these simple tips, you can greatly improve the health and safety measures on your construction site and ensure the safety of all team members and visitors. Remember to choose the most appropriate safety tags and signage for your site’s unique needs.