Signs need to look good but also need to be safe and not endanger members of the public or the sign erectors installing them.
Two very serious incidents reported in the national news over the past few days highlight the issues.
A young man lost is life when a large shop fascia fell on him in North London and a sign erector was severely burned when he hit a high currency electrical cable when installing a site sign in the South of England.
Unpredictable weather adds further danger to the issue. The Met Office have once again issued an amber warning in parts of the UK with strong winds of up to 80mph expected this week. Storm damage to building infrastructure, fascia signs, flags and poles can be hazardous if orderly care during installation as well as provisions put in place for sign maintenance are not carried out.
For sign buyers and for sign installers a duty of care is required to members of the public and employees. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is a landmark in law. For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care. The Act makes it very clear that every possible effort is made to minimise risk to individuals and the consequences for not doing so for the leadership of organisations means severe penalties not to mention a loss of reputation and trust.
When buying or having signs erected it pays to ensure your sign contractor is fully accredited for robust and certified Health & Safety practices. There are several national Health & Safety schemes available to sign makers as well as approaches to assessing risk and methodologies prescribed by the Health & Safety Executive which are all designed to avoid the unnecessary tragedies of recent days.
Glasgow based sign maker EVM makes Health & Safety in the workplace and on-site its biggest priority. EVM believes that sign makers and sign buyers must be held accountable for the risks and the price for negligence in specifying and installing signs.
For more information on EVM’s commitment to Health & Safety read about our accreditations via our website. http://www.evm.co.uk/about/iso-accreditations
(image available via BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21234216)