History of the Wet Floor Sign

History of the Wet Floor Sign

Its very important to have at least one wet floor sign around your business. Without them, you are exposed to liability. OSHA has requirements in place and deems the placement of a wet floor sign mandatory for all businesses. You’ll notice that you can enter into a 7/11 and wet floor signs are everywhere, even if the floor’s not wet. The reason being is people are either too lazy or don’t care to pick up and clean the spills…so they settle for having them out all the time for precautionary reasons. One may think this is the best way to go but it’s not. There has actually been lawsuits against businesses because the victim claimed they “didn’t notice the wet floor signs” because they are always there. After going to court, the defendants attorney asked the business to pull video surveillance of the store in attempt to claim that the wet floor signs were “always there” emphasizing that the wet floor signs were “part of the store” and not out as a precaution.

Years ago, maybe 20 or 30, there was an explosion in the market for A-Frame wet floor signs. The wet floor sign became available in every size that had different pictographs, languages, and even colors. Years later the cone came to market. The wet floor cone had the presumption that it was more noticeable than traditional wet floor signs because of the height. Wet floor cones are more durable than the traditional A-Frame wet floor sign because of the shape of the square base. A common problem businesses became facing was that customers were ignoring the wet floor signs and injuries started to increase. The introduction of the wet floor cone helped reduce liability and provided a warning message that was higher (in the field of vision) than the traditional height of the 24inch A-Frame floor sign. Businesses and insurance underwriters started to invest and recommend wet floor cones over A-Frame signs and sure enough, accident rates decreased.

Years later, now in 2014, the wet floor signs and wet floor cones have turned themselves into a commodity. What was once a more effective warning message (being a 36inch cone vs 24inch A-Frame sign) has been steadily decreasing.

The OSHA requirements do however remain the same, yellow with black lettering, but they’ve become so common that people don’t even notice them anymore. So ask yourself, what’s the point of a wet floor sign if people don’t even notice them? Is it simply to be compliant with OSHA and protect your business from a lawsuit? We’d all hope that businesses actually care about the safety of their customers but how can they find a way to effectively deliver a warning message when necessary? So what’s the solution…A taller cone? Brighter cone? Cone with motion sensors and flashing lights?

How about something that has the warning message inherent in the shape of the cone. Something that is, and will always be apart of our lives, and what else but a Banana. One can argue that anyone in the world, of any age, recognizes a banana peel on the ground as slippery. If you don’t agree, ask a child…they’ll tell you. It’s a no-brainer that puts smiles on peoples faces around the world, every day. Help spread the word, stand out from the bunch, and go Bananas for Safety!

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