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If you see a safety sign, the ones on heavy equipment, machine guards, electrical control panels and boxes, and combustible/flammable liquid storage rooms that say: DANGER, WEAR GOGGLES WHILE OPERATING; HIGH VOLTAGE; NO SMOKING; FIRE DOOR, DO NOT BLOCK; what is your reaction?

Most people react in one of two ways. A few get angry and feel like doing the opposite. They don't like to be told what to do or what not to do.
The majority know that safety signs make sense and that there is a reason for each sign being where it is. They take the sign's message as a visual warning and are glad its there to remind them.

The second reaction is the right one, of course. The NO RIDERS signs on the forklift are not there just to make you walk when you could ride. They are there to remind you that hitching rides on trucks is risky, and someone is going to get hurt.

A NO SMOKING sign is put where it is to keep you from lighting up and prevent you from starting an uncon­trollable fire.

Some people don't believe a serious fire can start from a cigarette. Consider the fact that the National Safety Council reported that in one year alone, 95,000 fires were started by smoking and matches. These fires caus­ed property damage in the tens of millions of dollars, not to mention the people killed and injured.

The purpose of signs is to visually remind you to stay safe, however, the big problem is that we all get so used to these signs that we don't notice them any more.

For example, can you remember what pictures are on the walls of your living room? It's kind of hard to do. You're so used to those pictures, just like the safety signs here on the job, you don't notice them anymore. And not seeing safety signs is dangerous business.

If a sign says DO NOT OPERATE WITHOUT GUARDS, that sign means what it says. If you don't pay atten­tion to the sign because it's been there a long time, you are leaving yourself wide open to an accident.
Disregarding a safety sign for any reason means you are taking a big chance of getting injured and/or hur­ting someone else. Being responsible for putting a coworker in the hospital should lay heavy on anyone's' conscience.

Remember, each and every safety sign is posted for a good reason, to keep you from getting hurt!