Canadian Occupational Safety

March/April 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 30 of 35 31 high-traffic environments, that can be as often as every three weeks to every six weeks. To replace stickers, you have to cordon off an area and close operations. If you're painting, you have to cure the surface, strip the old paint, lay the new one, let it dry. So, there's lost time and productivity," he says. "With projected signage, the projector is mounted overhead. No wear and tear can ever happen because there's nothing on the floor." The safety advantage of projected signs, Garg adds, is that they are more effective at drawing attention to workplace hazards than fixed signs, which become part of the landscape and are soon ignored. Bright colours make projected signs highly visible. The use of motion sensors can also help alert workers to the signage. Motion sensors, beam break sensors or push buttons can be used to trigger projectors to begin displaying a sign or start flashing a normally steady sign. For example, a motion sensor may detect a forklift approaching a walkway coloured lines or spots onto the floor below to warn of a suspended overhead load. Projectors can also be mounted on forklifts where they project lines, spots, arrows or warning signs to indicate the vehicle's approach. This application is suited to areas where alarms are difficult to hear. While projected signage works best in indoor environments, it can be used outside, too. The challenge is that when light technology goes outdoors, it usually becomes invisible in sunlight. To be visible on bright days, the power of the projected light must be very high, and with lasers, that light intensity would need to be so high that the laser would no longer be eye safe. However, there are products used outside. For example, a projected laser-line system developed by LTBLtech that creates pathways for docking trucks projects laser lines and safety signage inside and outside. It was designed for use in northern workplaces, where snow and ice often obscure outdoor lines. The green and red lines are visible only when there is no bright sun. ADVANTAGES One of the main advantages of projected signage is that, unlike paint and stickers, the signs don't wear off. As a result, companies are saved the cost, effort and downtime required by constant replacement, Garg says. "Stickers and paint wear quickly and need to be constantly replaced. In "In industrial settings, consistency is the key. Someone who sees a stop sign somewhere every day of their life is going to stop. If they just see it once in a while, they may not." Julie Tilley, Workforce Compliance Safety and will prompt warning signs to appear on the floor in front of any pedestrians who may be on the walkway. A sensor may detect a person opening a door and instantly project a safety image onto the floor. "The biggest advantage of projected signs over stickers is their dynamic nature. In this technological age, people don't pay attention to signs around them. People are always on their phones. Complacency happens to all workers," Garg says. "When motion is detected, [a manager] can have the signage come on and flash at a certain rate. All of a sudden, there is a change in the environment; the human eye picks up that change and you are made more aware of a potential hazard in the workplace." Projected signage can be used in most environments, but it is particularly useful in high-traffic areas, where paint and adhesive signs wear off and damage quickly; in safety-critical areas, where signs must be visible; in dark areas, where paint is hard to see but light is very visible; and in dusty, dirty or wet Viewing distance (Is the worker close enough to the sign to read it?) Illumination (Is there enough light on the sign?) Legibility (Are the words and images readable? Are they obscured in any way?) Clarity of the message (Can the worker understand what the words mean?) Conspicuity and placement (Does the sign capture the worker's attention?) Image details (Do the images clearly show the danger of certain actions?) Reading time (How long will it take the worker to read the sign?) Visual acuity (Is the worker's eyesight good enough to read the sign?) Perception factors (Does the worker have the background knowledge to understand the sign?) ENSURING EFFECTIVENESS OF SIGNAGE Source: WorkSafeBC

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