How to Pass Healthcare Facility Signage Requirements

Fire marshals and state agencies regularly inspect healthcare facilities for compliance with guidelines and standards. One area facilities must be in compliance with is proper signage.

Federal, state, and local governments have specific laws regarding the installation, size, and visibility of interior and exterior signs for healthcare facilities. It’s important to know which types of signs you may need for the healthcare industry and your facility so you can stay in compliance, pass inspections, and avoid expensive fines.

Having a good sign program in place that indicates dangers, cautions, and warnings will help reduce accidental exposure and work-related illnesses and injuries.

Caution Sign

OSHA has three classifications for safety signs in the workplace. The one above is a listed as a ‘caution’ sign.

Who Requires Signage?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and International Fire Code (IFC) are three major agencies that require signage.

OSHA’s standard 29 CFR 1910.145 sets specifications regarding the design, application, and use of signs or symbols that indicate and define specific hazards that could harm workers or the public or cause property damage.

NFPA 99 code sets requirements for health facilities to minimize the hazards of fire, explosion, and electricity. Requirements address installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices.

Danger Sign

OSHA considers this sign a ‘danger’ sign.

NFPA 101 is the most widely used source for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection, and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards.

IFC sign requirements provide protection for public health, safety, and welfare from the hazards of fire, explosion, or dangerous conditions in buildings.

Check with any of your local agencies to be sure you are in compliance with their rules.

Three Commonly Cited Areas for Improper Signage

This sign is considered by OSHA to be a ‘safety instruction’ sign.

Are you ready for an inspection? Read through the three questions below to see if your facility has signage to meet requirements for three commonly cited areas.

1. Is your Fire Department Connection (FDC) clearly marked so responding emergency personnel can find it day or night?
2. Is your building clearly marked as a generator-equipped building?
3. Is your emergency evacuation location/area of refuge clearly marked so that employees and residents can identify it?

If your answer to any of the three questions above is no or you’re not sure, you may need to update your signage to be in compliance.

Start by taking this Healthcare Signage Self-Assessment , which offers solutions based on areas of your facility that should have signage.

HD Supply Facilities Maintenance has signs that will help your facility comply with NFPA codes 99 and 101 as well as IFC and OSHA requirements. We also offer signs that can be customized, such as parking and traffic signs, navigational signs, and many more.

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