[Part 1 of Labels and Safety Series]

One of the most important functions of labels is communicating safety measures and hazard warnings. A commitment to safety protects businesses and enhances brand loyalty. Therefore, startups must include practices that will ensure the employees and customers’ well-being early on. One way to do that effectively is to use safety labels.

 

What are safety signs and labels?

 

Safety signs and labels are a broad class of alert messages that ensure public health maintenance. They convey any or all of the following:

 

  • Reminders of the presence of hazards

A collection of hazard signs

Big warning signs may reveal dangerous locations or lead people to safe zones. Smaller tags, such as allergy caution labels and electrical hazard stickers, may alert consumers of the presence of harmful components. A complete enumeration of ingredients may also help customers decide if they should avoid a product for safety reasons. 

 

  • Directions for proper use

Customer checking out a package label

Products should come with clear instructions for their use and, if needed, their assembly or preparation. They must also remind people of the consequences if they go against such instructions.

 

  • Contraindications

Customer suffering from an upset stomach

These warning stickers are placed specifically on drugs and food supplements. They notify people, particularly those with medical conditions, whether they can safely use a pharmaceutical agent or not. For example, ibuprofen may aggravate stomach ulcers, and this information should be present on its packaging.

 

  • Instructions for treating injuries arising from the use of a product

This kind of information may include first-aid measures and hotlines. For example, when shampoo gets in direct contact with the eyes, the labels should say that they must be thoroughly washed with cold, running water. A customer care hotline and other emergency numbers may be included for addressing further concerns.

The information that safety labels contain is very important. Business owners must ensure that employees and customers fully understand them.

 

How vital are safety labels?

 

Safety labels help businesses stay competitive because:

 

  • They allow establishments to remain compliant with regulations.

FDA Seal of Approval

Governments have strict guidelines for safeguarding occupational and consumer health. Such guidelines cover the wide applications of hazard signs and warning stickers. Establishments may be forced to stop operations if their compliance is questionable.

 

  • They ensure employee and customer well-being.

Safety labels help minimize injuries. They let employees work enjoyably and enable customers to have a good brand experience.

 

  • They enhance a brand’s reputation.

Protecting the clients’ safety helps them associate your brand with quality, which is good for marketing. Southwest Airlines, which is known for its superior customer service, safeguards its workers’ health. They voluntarily endorse the company in return.

 

  • They help businesses avoid costly lawsuits.

Personal injury and law

Imagine if a customer slipped on your shop’s wet floor and hit his head because he did not see any “wet floor” signs. Or what if workers got trapped inside a burning building that lacked fire exit signs?

Any business may encounter these life-threatening mishaps, which may cause legal problems. The liberal use of warning signs and safety labels help prevent such complications.

 

How can I make effective safety signs and labels?

 

A good safety sign or label has the following attributes:

 

  • It should be prominent.

A glow-in-the-dark fire exit sign

A safety sign must be in a location where it can be easily spotted. Its colors must contrast with those of its environment, and the font must be highly legible.

 

  • The message should be clear.

Making labels for a recyclable product or packaging

Use language that can be understood in your locality. Graphics may be used to highlight the message or if literacy may be a problem.

 

  • Where appropriate, the information should be completely spelled out.

Example of nutritional labels

Directions for use and first-aid measures must be direct to the point but should also have enough safety-related details. Nutritional information, e. g. caloric value, may be included if it would help customers make good buying decisions.

 

  • The label should be made of the right materials.

Label samples

Safety labels must be durable and can stay in place for a very long time. When making safety stickers, the right material combination must be used, or they will not serve their purpose.

For more information on finding suitable safety labeling materials, please read our blogs about label adhesives and facestock.

 

  • It must represent your brand.

A label with excellent coloring and design

The language, colors and images that you use on your labels must be consistent with your brand’s personality. For example, some consumers may find it inappropriate to communicate warnings with humorous cartoons of people getting injured. Likewise, when going for contrasting colors for your labels, make sure that they do not spoil the overall design.

 

What are the different uses of safety labels?

 

Safety labels are used in the following settings:

 

  • At the workplace

An electrical hazard sign hanging on a fence

Occupational safety signs may be found in schools, offices, commercial buildings, etc. They include labels for machine safety, building safety and fire equipment. OSHA, which is short for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is one US regulatory body that ensures that workplaces are injury-free. OSHA’s website details the various workplace safety sign guidelines.

 

  • On the streets

People studying road signs

They consist of road signs for both motorists and pedestrians. The DMV-New York website has a complete list of these signs.

 

  • On product packaging

Customer examining product labels

They convey product safety information and help satisfy compliance regulations. The US FDA has a comprehensive list of labeling guidelines covering commodities for both human and animal consumption. Note that adjustments have been made to ensure product availability during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

  • In healthcare

Among occupational labels, those used in healthcare deserve special mention as medical facilities are the ultimate protectors of public health. More than half of medical errors are due to labeling blunders, and many of them lead to avoidable patient injuries.

A healthcare worker holding a labeled blood specimen

Healthcare labels include:

  • Lab specimen labels
  • Patient wristbands and chart labels
  • Visitors’ passes
  • Employees’ badges
  • Pharmaceutical product labels
  • Hazardous waste labels
  • Regulatory signs, e. g. those signifying laboratory and quality management systems accreditation

We shall discuss the details of some of these safety label applications in future blogs.

 

Conclusion

 

Warning and safety tags raise awareness of the presence of any potential dangers. They help prevent injury, minimizing physical, financial and legal risks. A commitment to employee and consumer safety enriches brand reputation and assures regulatory compliance.

At enKo Products, we offer various label types suitable for making different kinds of safety signs. We have:

Try our labels today and get amazing deals!

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