California’s Proposition 65: What You Need to Know

What Is Proposition 65?

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, often referred to as Proposition 65, was adopted by the State of California in response to increasing public concerns about human exposure to toxic chemicals. This legislation requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Updated annually, this list has grown to include more than 800 chemicals.

Proposition 65 mandates that all manufacturers and businesses that make or sell products in California warn consumers about significant levels of harmful chemicals found in the products they purchase, in homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Equipped with this information, Californians are equipped to make well informed, educated decisions about lessening, or eliminating, toxic chemical exposure.

What Chemicals Are Included on the Proposition 65 List?

Updated annually, Proposition 65 includes a comprehensive list of naturally occurring or synthetic chemicals that are found to be carcinogens or are known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Are Proposition 65 Products Safe?

While a Proposition 65 warning highlights specific chemicals that expose consumers to cancer causing or reproductive toxins that exceed defined threshold levels, it is not a regulatory decision that determines whether a product is safe or unsafe for use or consumption. This decision is left solely for the consumer to weigh the risks and rewards of exposure to a given chemical.

What Are Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Levels?

Proposition 65 safe harbor levels are chemical exposure thresholds whereas a business does not need to provide a warning or discharge prohibition because exposure falls below specific levels. For chemicals, safe harbor levels must pose “no significant risk levels” as related to causing cancer. For those chemicals known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm, safe harbor levels must measure at or below “maximum allowable dose levels”.  If no safe harbor level exists for a chemical, a Proposition 65 warning is required.

Is Proposition 65 Effective in Reducing Chemical Exposure?

Proposition 65 has been successful in providing useful exposure information to Californians that may not have been otherwise controlled through state or federal laws. Proposition 65 also has raised public awareness of the negative effects from exposure to specific chemicals. Manufacturers have taken note and have removed many of the listed chemicals from their products. In addition, California has experienced a considerable reduction of chemical air emissions since Proposition 65 became law.

Proposition 65 and Customsigns.com

At Customsigns.com, we are committed to researching the products we purchase from our manufacturers and vendors in order to eliminate, or lessen, exposure to the chemicals listed by Proposition 65. All products being shipped to California that contain these chemicals include a warning displayed during checkout.

For additional information about Proposition 65, please visit California’s Proposition 65 website.

 

 

Design Trade Show Banners That Work for You

Whether you’re attending a trade show, convention, expo, or conference, you want your business to stand out among the often hundreds of other participants filling the expo hall, all competing for the attention of conference guests. One effective way of marketing to the masses and grabbing the attention of passersby is with well-designed trade show banners that will help you stand out among a crowded sea of exhibits.

Key Tips for Designing Effective Banners

No matter what you’re advertising, keeping a few basics in mind will help you design a banner that represents your message well.

Less is more. Expos are typically information overload, so presenting your materials in the simplest format that attendees can view with just a passing glance will help your company to be more easily remembered.

Choose a simple, clean-lined font in a size easily seen from a distance. Place your company’s name at the top of your banner so that guests can immediately see who you are. An engaging headline also can give someone pause to take the time to learn a bit more about your company.

Vibrant graphics with high-resolution imagery present a professional, polished look.

Always include your company’s logo. An obvious choice, including your logo will reinforce brand awareness and is easily recognizable from a distance.

Feature only a few key products or services. Especially for those who are not familiar with your company, these highlights may inspire interest, conversation, and perhaps a new customer.

Share your contact information! Often, attendees quickly snap pictures of banners as they pass by if they’re unable to stop and chat. Providing key contact information including company website, phone number, email, or social media information will make it easy and convenient for them to reach you in a variety of ways.

Banner Types and Specifications

X-FRAME MINI POP-UP BANNER STANDS are ideal for tabletops, desktops, and counters at trade shows, as lobby displays, at local fundraisers, community events, conventions, or any mobile marketing exhibit.

 

  • Collapsible for easy portability
  • Measures approximately 1 ½’ x 1’
  • Easily interchangeable vinyl banner
  • Freestanding lightweight aluminum tripod frame
  • Flexible arms keep banner from becoming wrinkled or wavy
  • Includes grommets in each corner for fast, simple assembly

 

 

X-FRAME FULL SIZE BANNERS are an eye-catching, economical way to instantly advertise just about anywhere. Choosing vibrant, colorful images and a thoughtful design will help you stand out from the competition.

 

  • Collapsible for easy portability
  • Measures approximately 6’ x 2 ½’
  • Easily interchangeable vinyl banner
  • Freestanding lightweight aluminum tripod frame
  • Flexible arms keep banner from becoming wrinkled or wavy
  • Includes grommets in each corner for fast, simple assembly

 

 

 

RETRACTABLE FULL SIZE BANNERS are an ideal option for securely storing your banner in a retractable base for easy set up and take down.   Designed with extra stability in mind, these banners are built to stand the test of time.

 

  • Measures approximately 7’ x 3’
  • Retractable for easy portability and quick set up
  • Support bars keep banner from becoming wrinkled or wavy
  • Freestanding retractable banner with fold out feet for stability

 

 

 

 

RETRACTABLE DELUXE FULL SIZE BANNERS are perfect for professionally displaying your company’s logo, products or services, contact information, or whatever you want to communicate to others.

 

  • Measures approximately 7’ x 3’
  • Retractable for easy portability and quick set up
  • Support bars keep banner from becoming wrinkled or wavy
  • Freestanding retractable banner with wide, weighted base for exceptional stability

 

 

 

At Customsigns.com, we’ve got a variety of economically priced display banners that will add value to your exhibits for many years to come. Made from the highest quality workmanship, our banners are custom made for you. Not sure which banners are best for your needs? Our Customer Focus Team is here to help you every step of the way.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Those Plastic Yard Signs

Whether yours is a red state or a blue state, help turn your state green by responsibly recycling the thousands of corrugated plastic election signs that sprout up everywhere each campaign season. No matter who wins at the polls, we all win by recycling!

The Perils of Plastic

Tons of plastic and metal crowd our landfills each year, where they remain for thousands of years before breaking down. Additionally, landfills are limited to specific sizes, so once they’re full, new landfills must be created.

theconversation.com

Because they are entirely recyclable, those corrugated yard signs most commonly seen covering yards and street corners during election season are one less thing we can send to landfills by using a bit of ingenuity.

Recycle Those Yard Signs

Many local curbside recycling programs do not accept campaign yard signs or their metal stakes and frames; fortunately, they are completely recyclable elsewhere. Specially designated recycling drop off centers are designed to wash, shred, and melt these plastic boards (or convert  them to plastic pellets), which are transformed into useful items including trash cans, beach chairs, toys, or other things made of heavy plastic. The metal stakes and frames can be taken to locations that accept metal, including local businesses that often pay for scrap metal to be used in future projects.

Creative Ways to Transform Election Signs

Repurposing those post-election season yard signs is an inexpensive, useful way to keep them from loading up landfills while enjoying a bit of creative fun during the process. These are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Keep those yard sale signs off utility poles and market your message to the masses. Spray paint the signs and stencil away. Include your address, the day and time of your sale, and even a few of the items bargain hunters may find!

 

  • Get creative! Spray paint those yard signs for celebrating lots of wonderful events, including baby’s arrival, birthday parties, graduations, open houses, lemonade stands, and more.

 

  • Wintertime fun! Larger corrugated yard signs are perfect for sledding down snow covered hills and are lightweight and easy to carry back up the hillside for even the smallest sledding snow bunnies.

 

  • Season’s greetings! The metal stakes, also known as H-stakes, used to hold yard signs, are perfect for anchoring holiday yard décor and keeping your favorite decorations from being blown over (or away!) by those blustery winter winds.

 

  • Mark those milestones! Prime your yard sign with bonding primer, grab some chalkboard paint, and create your own custom chalkboard. Perfect for marking first days of school or practicing those math facts or handwriting skills over and over again.

 

  • H-stakes also make sturdy props for supporting your growing vegetable, plant, and flower gardens.

  • Corrugated yard signs make terrific yard helpers as makeshift dustpans for sweeping up leaves and other debris.

 

  • Corrugated yard signs are lightweight, sturdy, and easy to cut. Measure the bottoms of your reusable shopping bags and add your custom inserts for a bit of extra (and waterproof!) stability. The boards slide into your folded bags for easy storage.

 

  • Yard signs make ideal surfaces (or ‘drop cloths’) for spray painting smaller projects – by protecting patios, driveways, and yards from misting paint.

 

  • Design your own vinyl decal to cover your corrugated signs, an economical way to transform your yard signs and share a brand new message!

Whether you have a few yard signs or enough to spread throughout the whole neighborhood, transforming them into new signs or garden helpers is a terrific way to reduce, reuse, and recycle! Let your imagination lead the way!

 

No Smoking, No Vaping Laws Expand Across US

There is no shortage of controversy surrounding no smoking and no vaping rules and regulations that have swept the country in recent years. As the negative health risks from smoking, vaping, and exposure to secondhand smoke continue to become more widely understood, the debate is more contentious than ever. Since California became the first to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995, smoking and, more recently, vaping bans, have become increasingly common. The surge in smoke-free establishments began with bars and restaurants and has expanded to include hospitals, college campuses, public parks and sidewalks, workplaces, and even public housing units, among others.

Is Smoking in the Workplace Banned Nationwide?

While there are federal laws in place to protect people from secondhand smoke on federal property and on airplanes, smoking in other areas, including the workplace, is regulated by state and/or local laws. Smoking may be banned in the workplace entirely or restricted to designated smoking areas.

Do Employers Have to Provide Designated Smoking Areas?

An employer is not legally required to provide a smoking area for its employees; however, if it chooses to do so, it must also provide a smoke-free environment throughout the rest of the work space. Additionally, smoking and nonsmoking areas must be clearly designated with proper signage.

Do Workplace Safety Laws Prohibit Smoking in the Workplace?

While the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) does not regulate smoking, it is responsible for prioritizing workplace safety. Industries that handle explosive materials are required by OSHA to clearly post signs alerting everyone in a given area where smoking is strictly prohibited since doing so could cause fire, explosion, serious injury, or death.

Can My Employer Charge Me Higher Insurance Premiums if I Smoke?

Yes, an employer is legally allowed to charge an employee higher healthcare premiums for being a smoker. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the statute responsible for preventing discrimination from many health conditions, allows employers and insurers to charge higher premiums to smokers and reduced premiums for those who do not smoke.

Can I Smoke in Public Areas?

As demand increases for cleaner air in public spaces, smoking bans have been passed for many public areas across the country, including sidewalks, bus stops, parks and other recreational areas, county fairs and farmers’ markets, and outdoor patios, just to name a few. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation provides comprehensive lists and maps of smoke-free areas across the US.

Is Vaping Included in No Smoking Laws?

Since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that all electronic, or e-cigarettes, be regulated as tobacco products, there has been a steady increase in laws across the country banning vaping wherever traditional smoking is prohibited.

Can Public Housing, Apartment Buildings, and Other Rental Properties Prohibit Smoking?

In 2006, the Surgeon General’s Office announced that simply separating smokers and non-smokers in public places was not enough to mitigate the effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Specifically, “cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to do [this] is by banning indoor smoking altogether.”   In November, 2016, then HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced that all public housing developments in the US will be required to provide a smoke-free living environment for all residents. This includes all indoor and outdoor areas of each property and smoking will be prohibited within 25 feet of the building or office. This ban officially went into effect on July 31, 2018.

A private rental property landlord can define no smoking rules in and around a rental property by clearly outlining the conditions in the lease agreement. Rules may include no smoking anywhere on the property or include designated smoking areas, such as a yard or pool area. Because smokers are not defined as a protected class under state or federal laws, a landlord is permitted to deny renting to someone who smokes.

https://www.customsigns.com/design/design-your-own-custom-plastic-no-smoking-signhttps://www.customsigns.com/no-smoking-stencil-multiple-sizesAt Customsigns.com, our line of no smoking and no vaping signs are ideal for posting throughout buildings or on properties to clearly inform employees and guests that smoking of any kind is prohibited. Our collection also includes a variety of no smoking stencils and design-your-own no smoking signs  and vinyl decals. Our Customer Focus Team is here to help you decide which no smoking signs will best meet your needs. 

For more information on no smoking laws and proper signage:

Please, No Smoking – Common Smoking Bans

 

 

 

 

 

Caution, Warning and Danger Signs Explained

Workplace safety signage is required by law. All organizations, from international companies to small businesses, are legally responsible for knowing the risks, effectively communicating these risks with all employees, and complying with all safety regulations, specific to their industries, as set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is responsible for setting the standards and guidelines for proper workplace safety signage that is enforced by OSHA. There are three key standards that specify the design and content of safety signs.

Safety Headers | Signal Words

A SAFETY HEADER or signal word, including danger, warning, caution, notice, or specific safety instructions, is determined by the degree of the potential hazard.

Safety Symbols

SAFETY SYMBOLS or pictograms effectively communicate across language barriers, providing visual alerts about hazards, precautions, or other necessary information.

Sign Legends

SIGN LEGENDS must accurately communicate the hazard the sign is warning of.

Safety Instruction Signs

SAFETY INSTRUCTION SIGNS are used to relay general instructions and suggestions as they relate to safety measures. Safety instruction signs must include a green panel with white letters and a white background. All letters printed on the white background must be black.

Caution Signs

CAUTION signifies that a minor or moderate injury may occur. These signs warn of potential physical injuries caused by slips or falls, harmful substances, or other unsafe practices. All caution signs must have a bright yellow background and yellow letters against a black panel.

 

Warning Signs

WARNING signifies that serious injury or death MAY occur. ‘WARNING’ text must be printed in black letters on an orange background. These signs may also include a bright blue graphic depicting a safety precaution that should be taken in a specific area.

 

X-Ray Radiation Warning Sign

Danger Signs

DANGER signifies that serious injury or death is VERY LIKELY to occur. These signs should only be posted in areas where there is potentially deadly harm from dangerous equipment or other environmental hazards, such as radiation, high voltage, or hazardous fumes, among others. Danger signs must be red, black, and white, and include ‘DANGER’ printed in white lettering on a red, oval shaped background. OSHA requires that all employees be made aware that danger signs indicate immediate danger and extreme caution must be used in the area at all times.

 

High Voltage Sign

Notice Signs

NOTICE SIGNS signify lower risk areas and can also promote safety in the workplace or other public areas. These signs generally display rules such as ‘please wash hands’ or ‘keep this area clean’. Notice signs also are used for distinguishing areas designated as ‘employees only’ and other low risk designations. Notice signs are blue and white.

 

Keep Area Clean Sign

Safety Alert Symbol

The universal SAFETY ALERT SYMBOL is a yellow triangle, outlined in black, containing an exclamation point. This symbol is only used on caution, warning, and danger signs, labels, or tags.

 

 

Customsigns.com is your resource for ready made or design your own workplace safety signs. Our Customer Focus Team is here to answer your questions and help you determine proper signage needs for your organization.

For more information about workplace safety, please see our related blog posts:

The Importance of Understanding OSHA and Displaying Proper Signage for Workplace Safety

The Importance of OSHA Signs for Construction Sites

OSHA’s National Youth Safety Initiative

 

Signage Requirements for Newly Enacted Men’s Room Changing Station Legislation

In today’s ever evolving, modern world, we are all about equality. This has become especially evident over the past few years as men have increasingly expressed frustration with the lack of accessible baby changing facilities available to them. Additionally, society is becoming more aware of the challenges, like the lack of proper changing accommodations, for single fathers and gay couples raising children.

The Challenge of Being Dad

According to the Pew Research Center, fathers are significantly more involved in their child’s care than they were 50 years ago. Dads should never be faced with the conundrum of changing a baby on the men’s room floor or other unsanitary places, and fathers everywhere are taking note and spreading the word.

Donte Palmer, a high school teacher and father of three from Jacksonville, Florida, started the #squatforchange campaign after visiting a local steakhouse that did not offer baby changing stations in its men’s room.  When his one year old son needed a diaper change, he gathered the baby and his 12 year old son and headed for the restroom. Then, in what Palmer calls his “perfect man squat”, with his older son at the ready to hand over wipes and diaper as needed, he got down to business.

Donte Palmer’s “perfect man squat”, illustrating the challenges he faces while changing his son in a public men’s room.

What is the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act?

On October 7, 2016, with bipartisan support from Congress, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bathrooms in Every Situation Act (BABIES Act). This new law requires that both men’s and women’s restrooms located in publicly accessible federal buildings (for example, courthouses and US post offices) offer suitable changing facilities for infants and young toddlers. Specifically, the new law requires changing facilities to be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.”

What Restrooms Are Exempt From the BABIES Act?

The Bathrooms in Every Situation Act excludes the following public spaces from compliance with the new law:

  • Any restroom that displays clear, concise signage indicating where changing facilities are located on the same floor of the building
  • Any restroom that would require new construction to comply with the law and the cost of construction is unfeasible

Do Individual States Require Changing Tables in Men’s Restrooms?

New York is the first state to adopt a law that requires fathers and other male caregivers to have a clean, safe place to care for a young child’s sanitary needs. The law, which went into effect on New Year’s Day 2019, includes restaurants, stores, movie theaters, and state facilities such as public parks, offices, and all Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices.

New regulations require changing facilities to be easily accessible to both females and males on all publicly accessible floors of every building. In addition, all buildings must conspicuously post restroom signs illustrating the location of the closest changing table facilities.

Now that both federal and New York State laws have been enacted requiring proper changing table facilities in both women’s and men’s rooms alike, expect other states across the country to adopt similar legislation, making changing time safer and happier for babies and caregivers everywhere.

With these new changing station regulations, it is essential to keep in mind public areas where ADA compliant signs are required by law. At Customsigns.com, we have the signs your public building needs for clearly identifying restrooms with changing table facilities and restroom signs that are ADA complaint. These signs include:

For more information on ADA requirements and restroom signs for public spaces, follow the links here:

How to Design ADA Compliant Signs

ADA Signage All Buildings Must Have

Where Should ADA Signs be Posted? 

Make Your Message Pop! Bumper Sticker Do’s and Don’ts

Whether you’re marketing to the masses or sharing your passion for a cause, bumper stickers are vibrant, colorful, economical, and a reflection of you! Here we share our best bumper sticker basics, sure to inspire and share your message wherever your travels take you.

 

Can I copyright a bumper sticker?

While a copyright is used to protect literary or artistic works, trademarks are designed for slogans, logos, and other short phrases (also referred to as intellectual property). When a bumper sticker is trademarked, this prevents anyone else from using its contents without written permission from the trademark owner.

Trademarks are awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office via an application process. The phrase, logo, or slogan (single words are not considered creative works) must be unique, not general in nature, and not similar to any other registered trademark.

Do bumper stickers damage vehicles?

Bumper stickers are made to last! Through car washes, sun, snow, sleet, rain, or rough terrain, bumper stickers have a resilient adhesive made to stand the test of time. However, when your honor student is off to college or that political candidate has long since retired, removing bumper stickers can be quite a challenge. And removing bumper stickers incorrectly can damage a vehicle’s paint.

How do I remove a bumper sticker?

Take your time! Gathering your supplies, understanding the do’s and don’ts, and a bit of patience will have you on your way to removing that once-loved bumper sticker in no time.

Goo Gone® is a safe, easy to use formula for removing bumper stickers. Either regular Goo Gone® or Goo Gone Automotive Goo and Sticker Removal® will do the trick. Simply apply liberally to the bumper sticker and a bit beyond its border, wait a few minutes, and remove. After the sticker has peeled off, wash the area with warm, soapy water.

For an environmentally friendly alternative, white vinegar is ideal. Generously apply vinegar to the bumper sticker, let soak, and carefully remove by using a plastic putty knife, credit card, or other dull edge. Wipe the area clean with warm, soapy water.

Never use a razor blade, nail polish remover, or other sharp items or harsh products to remove bumper stickers. These sharp objects and chemicals can damage your vehicle’s paint.

One creative way to protect your vehicle from bumper sticker adhesive (and make removal a snap!) is to fasten your sticker to a bumper magnet, then simply apply. No fuss, no muss.

What are bumper stickers made of?

Most bumper stickers are made of durable vinyl, backed with a strong adhesive, and easily affix to clean, dry surfaces.

What sizes are bumper stickers made?

A standard bumper sticker measures 3 x 12 inches. At Customsigns.com, our vinyl bumper stickers come in a variety of sizes and our easy to use Design Wizard is perfect for creating your own custom decals. The perfect portable billboard for marketing your brand or sharing your passion for a cause, our high quality vinyl sticker material is made stand out and to last for years to come.

How much do bumper stickers cost?

Our economically priced vinyl bumper stickers start at $2.95, quantity discounts are available. You can get each sticker for as low as $1.47 when you purchase more than 151 stickers.

Bumper sticker inspiration

Need a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing? Here are just a few ideas to get you started!

  • Baby on board
  • Student parking permits
  • Favorite sports teams
  • Scouting
  • Election campaigns
  • Proud parents/grandparents
  • Proud pet parents
  • Runners and other sports
  • Small businesses
  • Local restaurants
  • Favorite quotes
  • Road safety

 

Create Custom Signs & Banners with our Online Design Tool

Not sure how to create your custom signs? Our design wizard is perfect for quickly and easily creating your own custom signs, banners, name plates, stickers, and more. Here, we share our most frequently asked questions and answers to get you on your way to easily designing and placing your order!

What is the Customsigns.com Design Wizard? 

Our design wizard is a tool that allows you to design your own custom products, including signs, banners, name plates, license plates, stickers, and more. Customers are able to choose from a wide variety of custom options (depending upon the product) including size, personalized text, font type, color, size, and style, and the option to upload custom art, images, photos, or company logos.

What kinds of files are best for uploading logos or images?

PNG and JPEG files are best for uploading logos or other images because they produce clear, accurate results. PDF files are not recommended since this format produces low quality images and inaccurate colors. For a precise color match, please include exact color codes.

 

 

Design Tip – If a white background appears behind the uploaded logo or other image and you have chosen a different background color, be sure to upload an image with a transparent background. If you don’t have a file with a transparent background, simply request, in the special instructions section, that the white background be removed. If using vector art, be sure to convert it to a PNG file.  Some design your own products include an option to remove the white background. To do so, click the “remove white box” button on the options tab of the design wizard.

What is the best way to enter multiple lines of text on one design?

To add text, click the “add new text box” from the text tab in the design wizard. As text is entered, it will appear on the design template on the left. For multiple lines of text, use a separate text box for each individual line.

Can duplicate items be created from a single template in the Design Wizard?

Once an item has been designed and added to the shopping cart, simply select “order a new design based off this design” and a duplicate product is created. Simply edit the text and/or image(s) needed and add to shopping cart. Don’t forget to use the design wizard’s “save” button to conveniently save individual designs to your account for future use.

To easily make changes to your text, select each individual text box, then edit the text in the design wizard on the right. We recommend using the backspace button for removing text. The delete button will reset the font.

What is the Bulk Item Wizard and how is it used?

The “bulk item wizard” button allows duplicate products to be created once an original has been designed. When the original design is complete, choose “show bulk order form” (green button below design field) to view the “bulk order builder”. Simply insert new text and/or image for each new design, as shown in the image below.  This is an efficient way to ensure that each individual item contains the appropriate text and/or image.

Reordering saved designs is as easy as 1-2-3!

To reorder a previously saved design, simply log into your account and choose “my saved designs” from the bottom of the list shown on the left. Choose “order design”, make any desired edits, and save changes. When the new order is submitted, your new design will be created. If you would like to save this new design, remember to select the save button.

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

Choose the Best Materials to Make Your Signs Work for You

Have you ever considered how many times a day signs affect your life? Road signs, menu board signs, entrance, exit, and restroom signs, grocery store signs, storefront signs, election signs, movie marquis, the list is endless!  We continually look to signs for information and guidance, often without being consciously aware. According to NVISION, a supply chain management organization, 90 percent of the information transmitted to our brains is visual, and most people are 6.5 times more likely to recall visual information after three days than auditory information.  Well thought out signs are ideal for relaying messages that you want or need others to know and remember.

Once you have developed your message, displaying that message on the appropriate sign is equally as important. Materials matter. Quality custom signage is a worthwhile investment that is most likely to return dividends far beyond its initial cost. Here, we’ll answer some key sign questions that will help you make informed, effective decisions about which signs will best meet your needs.

Vote Signs CustomSigns.com

Three Best Outdoor Sign Materials

What is Sintra Board?

Sintra Board is one of the best sign materials for withstanding extreme weather conditions and maintaining its integrity through long term exposure to the elements. This rigid, weatherproof, non-flexible paneling material is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), resists warping or bending, and does not break easily. Sintra Board effortlessly absorbs color and has a low gloss, matte finish.  Often used for permanent outdoor signage, Sintra Board also is ideal for real estate and yard signs.

What is Coroplast?

The brand name for corrugated plastic, Coroplast is also referred to as plastic cardboard. An ultra-lightweight zigzagged Coroplast sheet is placed between two smooth sheets of plastic to form signs of various shapes and sizes. While Coroplast is durable, waterproof and weather resistant, it is an economical option best used as temporary outdoor signage, for example, election signs, holiday special signs, car wash signs, open house signs, or custom neighborhood yard signs, just to name a few. Coroplast is easily affixed to H-Stakes or mounted into frames for ready-to-go use.

What is Dibond?

Dibond is an aluminum composite that is made by filling two aluminum sheets with a polyethylene core. Exceptionally durable and resembling the structural integrity of metal, Dibond can be cut into a variety of custom shapes and sizes, perfect for creating signs that stand out from the others. This lightweight, rigid material is weather resistant, noncorrosive, available in a multitude of colors, and can be made with a matte, glossy, or mirrored finish. Because of its versatility and appeal, common uses include outdoor signage and temporary setups such as kiosks or exhibition stands.

The Best Indoor Sign Materials

What is Gator Board?

Commonly used for temporary yard signs, Gator Board is a firm, lightweight material ideal for permanent indoor signs. Manufactured from a dense foam interior placed between two wood fiber veneers, these veneers superbly  absorb vivid, full color inks and images that will stand the test of time. Water, scratch, and dent resistant, Gator Board is known for its structural integrity. Gator Board also is used for mounting posters and photographs and makes attractive conference or temporary kiosk displays.

What is Foam Core?

Best for indoor and temporary uses, foam core is made of a dense piece of foam placed between two layers of thick matte paper. With its low glare finish and versatility, it is often used for classroom projects like science fair displays. Foam core also works well for presentations or temporary store displays.

What is Ultra Board?

Because Ultra Board is made with a covering of polystyrene plastic, it is considered one of the most durable indoor sign materials. This material is scratch and warp resistant and is able to be cut or folded to support its own weight, for example freestanding life size Ultra Board cut outs that often feature celebrities.

At Customsigns.com, our Design Your Sign From Scratch page is the ideal starting point for creating signs that will perfectly fit your needs. Follow our link to get started today!

Can Yard Signs be Recycled?

Most yard signs are recyclable! If your yard signs are made of corrugated plastic (Coroplast) and metal H-Stakes, simply separate the stakes from the signs and place them in your recycle bin or drop them at your nearest recycling center.  Polypropylene, a main component of most plastics, is not biodegradable. Therefore, recycling is a much better option than making a long term contribution to your local landfill.

What Other Signs or Sign Components are Recyclable?

Recycling guidelines vary widely within counties, communities, and other municipal jurisdictions. To help you determine whether your specific signs (or parts thereof) are recyclable, contact your local recycling facility. In addition, below are the most common recycling symbols and the materials they represent.

1 – Polyethylene Terephalate Ethylene (PETE)

Soft drink, juice, water, detergent, cleanser, cooking, and peanut butter jars.

2 – High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent, and shampoo containers, plastic bags and grocery sacks, motor oil bottles, household cleansers, and butter tubs.

3 – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Window cleaner, detergent bottles, water jugs, cooking oils, and peanut butter jars.

4 – Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Plastic bags and grocery sacks, film packaging, and some bottles.

5 – Polypropylene (PP)

Syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, caps, straws, and film packaging.

6 – Polystyrene (PS)

Egg cartons, meat trays, plates, flatware, carry out containers, and clear trays.

7 – Other

Resins or plastic combinations.

For more information on how to make custom signs work for your business, please see our related blog posts:

Tips for Designing Visually Effective and Interesting Signs

Making Temporary Signs Work for You

Political Yard Signs, What You Should Know