Loitering: What is it? How Can You Stop It?

Loitering is not easy to define or to control. It is important to understand what constitutes loitering and how you can prevent it from leading to criminal activity on your property. You have likely seen no loitering signs posted in store windows, but what exactly is loitering?

What is loitering?

Warning No Loitering Sign

To loiter, or prowl, means to remain idle in a public place for a protracted time without any apparent purpose. The legal definition of loitering can vary by state, and can also include wearing masks or disguises in public. The essence of loitering is that an individual is engaged in suspicious behavior that causes justifiable concern that a crime will be committed against a person or property.¹

Examples of loitering

Loitering ordinances and statutes enable law enforcement to cut down on crimes such as prostitution, solicitation, panhandling, begging, drug dealing and other illegal acts. Standing outside of a business for a prolonged period of time is not in itself a punishable crime in most places, but is often known to be associated with illegal acts. However, if a business has a visible no loitering sign posted, police can take action against loiterers without other cause.²

Loitering laws give police the right to disperse suspicious or potentially dangerous crowds. The enforcement of loitering ordinances has been met with much controversy over the years.

Is loitering a felony?

Loitering is a subjective offense. In some places, loitering is a crime in and of itself. In other places, police must observe criminal behavior before they can confront a suspected person.

Loitering is most commonly a city or town ordinance, not state law.

Why is loitering an issue?

Loitering is a vague and subjective act and is difficult to punish. Business owners, schools, public spaces and venues often post no loitering signs to help prevent loitering that can lead to criminal behavior. If a person or group of people stands outside of a convenience store late at night, for a prolonged period, they may be suspected of selling drugs, begging, panhandling and more. If not dispersed, loiterers can also grow to become a disorderly or violent crowd.

Moreover, loiterers can deter other customers. When stagnant individuals or large crowds convene around a store entrance, for example, they can make incoming customers feel unsafe. In this case, the store owner may contact police to have the loiterers removed. A business owner, and the police, have grounds to disperse loiterers when there is a visible no loitering sign posted.

How can loitering be prevented/avoided?

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of loitering on your public property.

1. Install a security camera and post a surveillance sign.

When people see that your building is under surveillance, they’re much less likely to stick around unnecessarily.

2. Perform regular maintenance and upkeep to your building, parking lot and entrance.

A well maintained commercial property helps deter loiterers. Unruly crowds, graffiti artists, skateboarders, drug dealers and other individuals are likely to avoid well maintained areas due to the heightened chance of police presence. Keep your parking lot free of trash, broken glass and debris. Provide adequate lighting at night and ensure all signage is in maintained and working order.

3. Provide trash and recycling receptacles inside and outside your building

Give people adequate opportunity to properly dispose of waste. This will help cut down on litter, and will let passersby know your business is under watch. There are many recycling signs to choose from that will help reduce litter and support your effort to go green.

4. Remove graffiti and vandalism quickly

If graffiti is painted on your building or in your parking lot, remove it within 24 hours if possible. Walk your business grounds daily to ensure signs, light fixtures and windows are secure and not broken. A well-maintained building lets people know you keep an eye on your property and that police will be contacted in the case of trespassing, loitering or vandalism.

5. Deter overnight loitering by eliminating potential sleeping areas

Closed Sign Hanging on a Glass Window Door

Unfortunately, transient individuals have no place to call home. They may resort to sleeping on commercial property, and if you’re concerned with overnight loitering on your business grounds, you’ll want to reduce potential sleeping areas. You can do this by locking public restrooms at night, planting thorny bushes, installing dividers or arm rests on benches or by installing gates that are locked after hours.

6. Play loud music or distracting sounds

There are also more unconventional but effective ways to reduce loitering. Many store owners have used music or annoying sounds to disperse crowds. A 7-Eleven owner in Modesto, California, for example, started blasting classical music and operas outside of his store.³

Loud music makes it harder for people to stand around, gossip and cause trouble. Annoying buzzing or screeching sounds can also be used. Store owners can turn these on and off as needed, which reduces the danger of them asking loiterers to leave their property.4

Order No Loitering Signs and Other Property Signs Online

First and foremost, to let customers and passersby know that the shop owner does not condone loitering, vandalism or trespassing, signs must be posted. A posted sign provides the initial warning that certain acts will not be tolerated, and gives the business owner grounds to call law enforcement if a person or group of people refuses to leave the property.

CustomSigns.com offers hundreds of templates that can be ordered as is, or customized to your needs. Shop all property signs here.

Read more about:
How to prevent soliciting
Which solicitors to look out for after storms and natural disasters

Sources:
1. https://www.husseinandwebber.com/crimes/public-order-obstruction/loitering-and-prowling/
2. https://legaldictionary.net/loitering
3. https://nypost.com/2018/04/30/this-7-eleven-has-a-unique-way-to-stop-loitering-panhandling/
4. https://www.universalsiteservices.com/how-to-discourage-loitering/

Holiday Workplace Safety: Signs & Safety Tips

‘Tis the season to be extra careful at work! Last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.1 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses that required workers to take at least one day off to recover were reported. Workplace injuries are most common around the holidays, and not just for inherently dangerous industries. Even office and retail workers are exposed to more risks around the holidays.

What are some of the most common injuries around the holidays?

Injuries due to fatigue, rushed work, lack of focus, ladder falls, electrical shock and food poisoning are among the top ways that workers get hurt this time of year. Many of these common injuries occur in office and retail environments, where staff are doing seasonal work, such as hanging lights or decorations in high places.

Also, “in the run up to Christmas many workplaces are open longer hours and recruit temporary workers, which means there is a sudden increase of new people who might not be familiar with an organization’s working practices.” (Enhesa Worldwide Compliance Intelligence) 

Also, employers may not consider other risks, like the spread of the flu, or food poisoning. Workers commonly fall sick due to holiday food platters that are not stored properly. Common colds and other illnesses can be reduced by enforcing hand washing and sanitizing in the workplace.

In which industries are workers most susceptible to injuries?

The construction and transportation fields are among the riskiest industries year-round, but especially around the holidays. In these particularly dangerous industries, seasonal employees may not receive proper safety training in preparation for the Christmas season. More teen workers are also on the job, which exposes staff to injuries brought on by a lack of experience.

Construction workers are three times as likely to be killed and twice as likely to be injured as workers in other fields. These risks can be greatly lowered through proper training, hazard assessment and requiring workers to wear protective gear. OSHA-required safety signage should be properly placed and maintained in any environment that exposes employees to injuries.

Moreover, traffic is heavier during the Christmas season, which only heightens the risk for transportation workers who are driving on icy roadways and transporting heavy loads.

Other Common and Preventable Holiday Injuries

No matter what type of environment employees are working in, the risks are higher during the busy season. Workers are under extra pressure to perform, whether it’s to meet sales goals or to produce the products that are shipped to hasty customers. Retail workers are known to work extended hours, which leads to fatigue. Mail carriers are pushed to deliver packages on time. The list goes on.

What can employers do to ensure they offer a safe holiday work environment?

Don’t skip safety training. Even seasonal employees should receive adequate training that adheres to company and OSHA standards.

Post signage. Anywhere there is a risk to health or safety, a sign should be placed to warn or remind employees to take precaution. This safety signage can include everything from “remember to wash your hands” signs to “danger high voltage.”

Provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. The holiday season is also flu season. Make sure employees are healthy and productive by keeping germs under control in the workplace.

Monitor hours on the clock. Managers should keep close watch on their employees’ hours. Ensure proper breaks are being taken, and that teen workers are not working more than 8 hours in a day. This protects workers from fatigue, but also keeps employers safe from citations or fines.

Put things where they belong. Keep ladders, tools, electrical wires and other potentially hazardous objects in locked rooms that are only accessible by authorized personnel. Also store food at proper temperatures to prevent food poisoning!

Require proper attire. Depending on the risks inherent to each industry, different dress codes should be expected and enforced. From requiring that office workers wear closed toe shoes to demanding that construction workers wear hard hats, it’s vital to ensure employees are protected from harm.

Remind employees of potential hazards. Do staff members forget to turn off the toaster oven in the break room? Are Christmas lights not being turned off at closing time? Post signage to remind employees to turn off appliances or devices that can become fire hazards.

Many workplaces have unique or uncommon risks. You can create a safety sign that is specific to your office or warehouse needs.

CustomSigns.com has a full line of industrial and workplace safety signage that can be customized and shipped next business day.

Do what you can today to make your workplace safer for the holidays and year-round!

Sources:

https://www.enhesa.com/flash/tis-season-be-alert-occupational-injuries-rise-during-festive-season

https://www.bls.gov/osmr/pdf/st130230.pdf

Related Posts:

How to Increase Workplace Safety During the Summer

Understanding OSHA and Displaying Proper Signage

OSHA’s National Youth Safety Initiative

Top 10 Confusing & Funny Signs

Signage is everywhere you turn, inside and outside. From restroom doors to highway rest stops, there is signage designed to communicate countless different messages. There are fundamental basics to effective sign design, but many signs obviously don’t follow the rules. Bad signs fail to communicate their message and often convey a different idea altogether,  leaving drivers and passers-by confused or amused. We’ve rounded up the top 10 of our favorite confusing signs to illustrate why it’s important to follow basic design principals when creating custom signage.

1. Do Not Breathe Under the Water. This sign is so confusing it’s funny. What happened to inspire the posting of this sign? Swim safety and pool rules signs should communicate a clear message, not raise more questions. (See our pool rules signs: https://www.customsigns.com/safety-signs/pool-safety)

https://klyker.com/confusing-signs/wtf-confusing-signs-11/

2. Garbage Only, No Trash. Is there a separate sign posted that explains the difference between garbage and trash? This message may have needed two signs, such as recycling and bottles only, perhaps. (See our recycle signs: https://www.customsigns.com/pre-designed-templates/recycle-signs)

https://www.memecenter.com/fun/3972741/funny-confusing-signs

3. Left Lane Must Left Lane. Is “left lane” a verb? How can a person “left lane” something? This sign will undoubtedly confuse drivers. It’s vital that traffic and safety signs are easy to understand. (See our safety signs: https://www.customsigns.com/safety-signs)

http://boredomtherapy.com/funny-mistakes-in-signs/

4. Office Hours. Remember, less is more. We understand this office hours sign may be intended to be funny or sarcastic, but think of the person who just wants to visit the business. Will they read all of this? If they do, they’ll be downright exhausted afterward. Office hours signs should clearly state open and close times.

http://listposts.com/hilarious-things-that-will-leave-you-scratching-your-head-in-confusion/

5. Parrallel Parking. Someone should double check each sign for spelling and grammar errors well before it hits production. This parallel parking sign is just not good. (See our parking signs: https://www.customsigns.com/pre-designed-templates/custom-parking-signs)

https://klyker.com/confusing-signs/

6. What!? This sign is so confusing it could cause accidents. Imagine driving past this and trying to make sense of it. A stop sign may have been more effective. (See our road safety signs: https://www.customsigns.com/safety-signs/road-safety-signs)

http://newsglobal24.com/funny-and-confusing-road-signs/

7. Sign Not in Use. Why is this sign even posted? If not “in use,” what purpose is it serving? Shouldn’t someone just remove the sign?

http://emgn.com/s2/17-painfully-confusing-signs-written-absolutely-clueless/

8. Tanning, Hot New Lamps. Drive Thru Now Open! It’s also important to remember sign placement. The placement of these banners creates a whole new meaning, and a rather interesting visual. Does this tanning business offer drive-thru burns?

http://blog.ivman.com/sign-language/

9. 4 Third Floor. Imagine stumbling upon this sign. Are you on the 4th or 3rd floor? Is the 4th floor next? It makes no sense. Wayfinding, room name and room number signage should easily lead the visitor to their destination without confusion. (See our room and wayfinding signs: https://www.customsigns.com/room-signage)

http://emgn.com/s2/17-painfully-confusing-signs-written-absolutely-clueless/2/

10. Please Do Not Throw Berries. This sign was obviously created for a reason, but if someone has to explain the sign, is it really effective? It does at least inspire a giggle. Throwing berries sounds fun…

https://klyker.com/confusing-signs/

At CustomSigns.com we’ve made custom signs since 1954. We’ve had more than 60 years to learn the ends and outs of creating effective signage. Be sure to read our blogs about designing visually effective signs and creating ADA compliant signs.

 

Did you Know you Can Customize Required Restaurant Signs?

What Signs Are Required for Restaurants?

Table of Contents
Customer Signs
Alcohol Signs
Franchise Signs
Establishment Signs
Kitchen Signs
Worker Signs
Minor Employee Signs
>50 Employees Signs
Waste Area Signs

Every new business owner, particularly of a restaurant, should be aware of the required signage to post within their establishment. Much of this required signage is offered by the city in which the restaurant or business is located, but some business owners are choosing to go above and beyond in order to draw in the right customer.

In New York City specifically, the following signs are required for each area of an eatery or bar.

Signs Required for Customer Area:

    Maximum Occupancy Sign

  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Food service establishment permit
  • Choking first aid signage
  • CPR kit and information
  • Sales tax certificate of authority
  • Sales tax included (for selling with tax included)
  • Place of assembly certificate of operation and permit (for seating 75 or more customers indoors and 200 or more outdoors)
  • Maximum occupancy for place of assembly

Signs for Establishments Selling Alcohol:

  • Liquor license
  • Warning for pregnant women
  • No liquor sold to minors or intoxicated adults

For franchises with 15 or more locations:

  • Calorie counts for menu items

Signs Required throughout the Establishment:

Signs Required for the Kitchen:

  • Food allergies
  • Fire alarm test record
  • Equipment use permits (refrigerators, boilers and HVAC units)
  • For range hoods
  • Schematic of hood and ducts
  • How to clean hoods and ducts
  • Record of cleaning hoods and ducts
  • Record of inspecting hood and duct

Signs Required for Worker Area:

  • Minimum wage
  • Fair labor standards act
  • Benefits and hours
  • Wage deductions
  • Tips and taxation
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Occupational safety
  • Right to know workplace hazards
  • Equal opportunity
  • Pregnancy rights
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Employment of ex-criminals
  • Veterans benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Polygraph protection act notice
  • Employee voting leave

Signs for Businesses Employing Minors:

  • Permitted working hours for minors

For Employing more than 50 people:

  • Family medical leave act

Signs for Waste Areas:

  • Recycling instructions
  • Private carter information and schedule

Though these types of signs and certificates can be obtained for free, many upscale and trendy spots are choosing to customize them. Rather than having a standard sign or poster framed on the wall, some restaurant owners are spending extra money to commission illustrations and art that will stand out.

One such establishment is Sauvage in Brooklyn, New York. Co-founder Joshua Boissy said “If you’re trying to stand out in a city with 9 million people you have to find your own way to do that. That’s one of the ways we do that.” Most of the time, required signage is generic and hidden in hallways but when these signs are customized they can be displayed as part of the restaurant scheme.

▸Alex Holden’s “choking victim” hangs at Union Pool in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Although standing out in New York City is much more of a challenge than in smaller cities, every business owner is looking for ways to bring in the right customer and keep them coming back. Why not use custom signs and posters to satisfy inspection requirements? As long as restaurant owners follow the rules and include the correct text and visuals, custom compliant signage can be used to complement a restaurant or bar setting, rather than simply meet basic requirements.

Get 20% Off Your Order with Code CSIGN20, Design Your Own Brass Signs

Custom signage is available in many sizes, types and materials. Depending on the restaurant or bar aesthetics, business owners can customize brass, vinyl, aluminum or plastic.

Before customizing signs for your eatery or business, make sure you check the local requirements of your city to ensure you include the correct message and visual on each sign.

Helpful Resources:

OSHA’s National Youth Safety Initiative

It’s summertime, which means more teens and young adults are joining the workforce, both long term and for temporary summer jobs. Statistically there is an increase in workplace injuries during the summer due young workers’ lack of work experience and safety training. To help combat youth work related injuries, OSHA has recently entered into a 2-year initiative called the “National Youth Safety Initiative.”

Under this initiative, OSHA will be proactive in providing young workers, aged 16-24, and their administrators and educators with detailed information about job related injuries that commonly affect young workers. During this 2-year program, participants will promote safety and health awareness to young employees, spreading statistics about common injuries that occur in the agriculture, healthcare and construction industries specifically.

OSHA and participating employers will educate youth workers about common injuries and illnesses such as slips and falls, exposure to hazardous chemicals and exposure to heavy machinery. This information will be shared through webinars, publications commonly read by teens and young adults, workshops, seminars and more. Participants in the National Youth Safety Initiative will also provide notices and reminders about occupational health and safety regulations and the rights and expectations of employers.

Every business owner knows that safety should be a priority all year, but precautionary measures should be heightened in the summer months due to the increase in young, inexperienced team members joining their staff. Due to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have to pay close attention to youth workers and their exposure to risks. These risks not only include chemicals and machinery, but also shift duration. Depending on the employee’s age, he or she may only be legally allowed to work for 3 hours in a given day. (On school days, 14-15 year olds can only work up to 3 hours in a day.) During the summer, teen workers are expected to stop work at 8 hours or sooner.

OSHA’s latest initiative is designed to limit the number of workplace injuries to protect young workers, but businesses are also responsible for protecting their own liability. Along with sharing safety tips and regulations, businesses should also be proactive in making their work staff aware of potential injuries. Along with safety training, safety signs should be posted throughout warehouses and worksites to remind employees of potential harm.

A warning, caution or danger sign should be posted depending on the severity of bodily harm inherent to a situation. For example, areas where slips and falls commonly happen should be marked with a caution sign. Caution usually denotes an injury that can cause moderate injury. However, in areas where employees are exposed to high voltage that could result in death, a danger sign should be posted.

Signage should be well maintained and highly visible. Materials and other blockages should not prevent a worker from seeing a warning sign. As signage becomes dated and worn, it should be updated. From flammable materials signs to emergency eye wash station signs, CustomSigns.com has the appropriate signage for each work setting. Make sure you are aware of the risks inherent to your business and warn staff members accordingly.

As OSHA and participating employers take proactive steps toward improving workplace safety for youth workers, make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your business a safer place to work.

More details about the Youth Safety Initiative: https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/safety-general/Schools-out-Protect-teen-workers-on-the-job/

 

 

Where Should ADA Signs be Posted?

Gender Neutral Restroom ADA Sign Mounted on Wooden Slat Wall

Where are ADA Signs Required?

In order to keep your business in compliance with ADA standards, it is important to know in which rooms, and in which places to post braille signs. In 2012, the ADA latest 2010 rules were put into use, and if your business has been in operation for many years, your signage may not be up to date. (The 2010 standards were an update of the 1991 regulations.) Government regulations and documents are often difficult to understand or are open to interpretation. This blog will help clear up any confusion about where your ADA signs should be hanging.

Which Rooms are Required to Have ADA Signs?

Meeting Room ADA Sign with Braille and Tactile LettersAlthough it is good practice to provide ADA signage for every room, there are certain rooms that are required to have these signs. Any room or area that is designated for a specific use that will not change frequently, such as a restroom or vending area, is required to post ADA signs. It is important, and often vital, to help disabled or sightless patrons safely navigate your building.  Therefore, rooms that are permanent spaces for a specific use should be marked with ADA signs. Also, if the sign features a pictogram, there must be tactile lettering to accompany the imagery. Spaces that are required to have ADA signs include restrooms, vending areas, numbered rooms, floor numbers and any space that is used for a specific purpose that is not likely to change. Rooms that are open to interpretation, or used for different purposes, may include meeting rooms, classrooms and offices.

What is the ADA Compliant Height for Signage?

When considering where to hang ADA or braille signs, think of people who are sightless or who are navigating your building at the height of a wheelchair. The latest ADA regulations state that compliant signs must hang no lower than 48 inches above the floor, measured from the bottom of the lowest characters, and no higher than 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the highest characters, above the floor. This means that any person who is visually impaired or seated in a wheelchair must be able to touch and interpret the sign. During an emergency, a disabled patron should be able to safely find their way out of your building without confusion. Visually impaired and disabled people are aware of where ADA signs should be located, and if they are not hanging in the correct area or location, this could cause disorientation or even danger in the case of an emergency.

What is Required for ADA Parking Signs?

ADA Parking Sign Mounted on a Stone Brick Wall

Your parking facility needs to clearly mark accessible parking spaces accordingly. ADA.gov hosts a PDF file that lists the number of accessible spaces required depending on the total number within your facility. Compliant parking signs require very little in comparison with indoor ADA signs. In order to meet ADA standards, your parking sign’s text needs to highly contrast against its background. If you have van accessible parking, the additional text “Van Accessible” must be included. When mounting your sign, it must be a minimum of 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the sign, from the floor or ground. This allows other drivers and facility security to more easily see that the space is reserved for the disabled.

 

Providing the right ADA braille signs is not only required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is an act of courtesy from business owner to business patron. These signs do not cost much, and they can significantly increase safety and ease of navigation within your building. They will also show that you support the needs of every customer or visitor. You can create an ADA sign to meet your needs at CustomSigns.com. We will ensure that your sign is created to meet the latest regulations. These common signs should be posted in any building that offers access to a restroom, whether it be a public building or a workplace.

ADA Inaccessible Entrance Sign Mounted Next to Red Door, Get 20% Off Your Order with Code CSIGN20

For more information on signage standards, you can access the 2010 ADA standards here.

See our other ADA posts:
How to Design ADA Compliant Signs
ADA Signage All Buildings Must Have

Disability Scams & Lawsuits:

Small business owners often put all they have into their companies. Whether these business owners wake up before dawn to prepare breakfast at a small diner or put late nights in at an up-and-coming pub, they devote themselves to serving their customers and employees and to offering the best products or services they can. Unfortunately, these same small shop and restaurant owners are often at highest risk of being sued or fined, not because their products aren’t up to par, but because they are often targeted in disability scams. Small businesses are often not aware of the latest ADA standards or are not equipped to meet the needs of disabled patrons. However, what’s worse is that these types of scammers don’t care about whether or not they have actually entered the many small businesses they sue, or that these businesses update their buildings to comply with ADA standards – they just want money.

Why it’s so Important 

A recent case in Jacksonville involved a “serial suer” who is said to have sued more than 40 small businesses throughout Northeast Florida. The law firm backing this serial suer, who is a double amputee, is suspected to have collected anywhere from $85,000 to $150,000 in the first few months of 2017 alone, all from small businesses that settled pre-suits with the firm. However, there are many small business owners who cannot afford to pay up, and end up suffering.

ADA Standards 

It is vital for businesses to stay in the know about ADA standards. ADA standards are issued by the DOJ and DOT, and are based on the board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines. There are unique provisions for assembly areas, medical care facilities, lodging, educational buildings, detention and correctional institutions, social service centers and residential buildings. Small business owners should be aware of the DOJ standards that apply to the type of facility they operate from. The latest revised ADA standards were published in 2010, and became mandatory in 2012.

Accesses

Appropriate ADA signs should be used to mark wheelchair inaccessible areas as well as stairwells, elevators, restrooms and fire exits. ADA signs feature visible lettering along with raised braille lettering for visually impaired customers. CustomSigns.com has compliant ADA signs for each use.

Most customers who shop small and local businesses are interested in supporting their community and experiencing all that their city has to offer. However unfortunately, there are those who are out to collect money in any way they can. Every business should be knowledgeable about ADA guidelines, prepared to accommodate disabled customers, and ready to avoid costly lawsuits, whether they are legitimate or not.

Please, No Smoking – Common Smoking Bans

Smoking has never been as controversial as it is today. As more non-smokers become concerned with the health risks of tobacco use, the more state and local laws are written to ban smoking. California was the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995. Since then, smoking bans have become increasingly common, not just in bars and restaurants, but even on public sidewalks, in public parks, on college campuses and even in some public housing units.

It is common to see “please no smoking signs” posted in breeze ways, in offices, eateries, apartment hallways and more. As of July 2016, 82% of the United States population lives under a smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars by either state, local or commonwealth law, according to Wikipedia. Similarly, 58.6% live under a ban covering ALL workplaces, restaurants and bars. Many would argue that banning smoking inside of restaurants and on school grounds is acceptable, but threatening apartment and public housing residents with eviction for smoking inside their homes has caused debate.

Smoking Bans In Public Housing & Apartment Buildings

As non-smokers become increasingly concerned with second hand smoke, smokers continue to be pushed out of businesses, from sidewalks and entryways, and more recently, their homes. In 2006 the Surgeon General stated that separating smokers and non-smokers in public places was not enough, and that “cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to do it is by banning indoor smoking altogether.”

HUD secretary, Julian Castro announced in November 2016 that public housing developments in the United States will be required to provide a smoke-free environment to residents. This smoking rule includes indoor and outdoor areas of housing units; smoking will no longer be permitted within 25 feet of the building or office. Residents can be fined or even evicted upon violation of the no-smoking rule, which has sparked debate over civil liberties at one of New York’s largest public housing facilities, Queensbridge Houses.

No Smoking In Public Areas

As public demand increases for clean air, smoking bans have been put in place for many public areas including sidewalks, outdoor patios, bus stops, county fairs, parks and recreation areas. Just this month, for example, Laguna Beach, California banned smoking and vaping in all outdoor areas. The only place left in this particular town for smokers to light up is within their car or home. To see a list of outdoor areas where smoking is banned or prohibited, visit no.smoking.org.

Smoking Banned On School Grounds

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, continues to enact bans on smoking, not just to protect nonsmokers from the inherent health risks of second hand smoke, but also to set an example to children and teens. This has prompted bans on smoking on school grounds, many college campuses, and in some cities, on school board grounds. The Sarasota County School Board just announced this month that it will do away with all designated smoking areas, and all tobacco products will be banned from school buses, district owned vehicles and any portion of a building owned or leased by the school board.

Tobacco Use Prohibited In Workplaces

Many industries not only prohibit smoking to protect or accommodate staff and visitors, but also to prioritize safety. Industries that handle explosive materials are often required by OSHA to warn about the dangers of smoking in the workplace by posting no smoking signs including signs that state “no smoking, shut off engines”.

No Smoking or Vaping Signs

If you are looking to crack down on smoking or vaping in or outside of your business, CustomSigns.com has many pre-designed signs featuring “no smoking in this area” and “thank you for not smoking.” For a limited time only, you can get 50% off of no smoking signs at CustomSigns.com. As controversial as smoking and vaping has become, it has become even more difficult to control. Posting the appropriate signs will kindly remind people that they can’t light up in certain areas.

 

How to Increase Workplace Safety during the Summer

According to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more workers are injured on the job during the months of June, July and August, than any other time of the year. A particular BLS report showed that almost 3,300 workers are injured daily in the month of June alone. The majority of these accidents result from a lack of enforcement of critical safety procedures and a lack of oversight based on OSHA safety standards.

In an effort to help reduce the occurrence of these high numbers of workplace accidents during the summer months, CustomSigns.com is encouraging businesses to increase safety signage to warn employees of potential risk on the job.

CustomSigns.com offers the option for businesses to pick from a selection of pre-designed safety signs for the workplace, or create a custom option based on their unique needs. Our goal is to get safety on employee’s minds to help reduce the number of workplace accidents occurring during the summer months.

The most common workplace injuries are musculoskeletal, affecting the legs, back and spine. However, heat exposure, especially in hot and humid states like Florida, is responsible for a large number of accidents and injuries from June through August. According to OSHA, approximately 18 people throughout the country died while on the job because of heat exposure in 2014 alone. Also, more than 2,600 workers became sick because of overexposure to the heat. Heat related deaths and illnesses are almost always preventable by enforcing ample break time and providing water and other essential beverages.

With the right signs, employers can encourage and remind employees to take certain precautions to prevent some of the most common accidents and injuries that occur.

From remaining hydrated by taking breaks every 15 minutes to getting to know the signs of heat exhaustion, signage can be a lifesaver in certain situations.

With the summer months ahead, now is the time for businesses to prepare for the inherent risks of higher temperatures. Injured workers do not only cost companies money in terms of workers compensation cases, but also in regard to productivity. These are costs that could be easily avoided with a few proactive steps.

ABOUT CUSTOM SIGNS

Custom Signs is a leading provider of both outdoor and indoor business signage. Providing high-quality products for retail stores, industrial work sites, restaurants, retail stores, and schools is a top priority for this company. The service regularly provides discounts for customers and is dedicated to exceeding expectations with every client served.