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Why authorized personnel only signs?

Danger authorized personnel only sign This sign uses the ANSI (American National Standard Institute) template for indicating serious hazards: red and black colors featuring the "Danger" heading and an image that depicts the specific kind of risk.

Safety sign use is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in situations where unidentified hazards could result in property damage or accidental injury to workers or the public. One specific type of safety signage, authorized personnel only signs, clearly identifies private or hazardous areas in order to prevent accidents or unauthorized access. Common sites for authorized personnel signs include:

  • Electrical equipment rooms or spaces with high voltage risks
  • Any area where chemicals or pesticides are stored or a biological hazard exists
  • Rooms or environments requiring the use of a respirator or protective clothing
  • Confined spaces where high traffic or untrained personnel could result in injury
  • Buildings containing sensitive machinery or equipment
  • Facilities with hidden dangers, like derelict buildings
  • Treacherous patches of land within public parks or private property
  • Special access venues like concert venues or sporting arenas

Unrestricted access to potentially dangerous areas has caused a litany of avoidable tragedies. Collecting data from 247 railroads nationwide, the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis tracked train-related accidents and incidents nationwide in 2011. This study found that out of 206 fatalities, 119 were related to trespassing. This data reveals a trend; in the preceding year, 2010, there were 113 trespasser fatalities out of a total 204 deaths.

Averting injuries and fatalities aren’t the only incentives facilities have to comply with federal laws concerning signage. Other consequences include security breaches, work slowdowns or stoppages, and unintentional damage to public or private property. Failure to post appropriate notices in hazardous situations can also expose individuals, businesses, and organizations to legal and financial liability in the event of an accident. With posted warnings, however, unauthorized access—and its attendant risks—can be minimized or prevented.

Depending on style and size, authorized personnel signs are available in a wide variety of materials with varying degrees of reflectivity. Many retailers offer a versatile range: from rigid plastic and flexible laminated vinyl to heavy-duty aluminum and engineer grade reflective aluminum. Temporary, inexpensive options include packs of plastic signs available in book format, which can be torn out as needed and attached to surfaces via staples, nails, or tape. At the other end of the spectrum, top-of-the-line diamond grade reflective aluminum is also available for certain designs. These durable materials resist exposure to extreme temperatures; well-made, high-quality signs can last up to 10 years even in outdoor weather.