Introduction - Thomas Bresnahan

The issue of safety signage in industrial, commercial, and business establishments continues to be a significant issue for S/H&E professionals. This session will discuss in-depth the newly published ANSI Z535.2– 2011 Standard for Environmental and Facility Safety Signs using real-world examples and presenting issues of standards compliance and risk reduction that show how a system of safety signs protects people and improves liability risk management.

The opening of our discussion will focus on a current, on-going survey of how manufacturers are actually using safety signs. This survey is a two page snapshot of safety signage used in facilities and corporate campuses where products are fabricated and made.

But before getting into the nuts and bolts of the survey (all 28 issues), let me cite a conversation from my favorite comedic author of mysteries, Donald Westlake. If you remember the movie with Robert Redford "Hot Rocks," you will recall the John Dortmunder gang of second-story burglars. In Westlake's Bad News, the gang is driving on unfamiliar roads to case an estate to be looted when Stan Kelp, the expert wheel-man says, "This signage stinks," and Dortmunder looks over at Kelp and asks, "Signage, is that a word?" and Kelp replies, "Not for those pitiful markers they had back there."

Our objective in this presentation is that you come away with an understanding of the principles behind the new ANSI Z535 safety signs and how you should use them as a "system" to visually communicate critical safety information to protect your people and improve overall risk management. And moreover, so you'll have an answer to the John Dortmunder in your future who asks, "Signage, is that a word?"

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