OSHA exit signs, like all safety products, come with certain specifications and requirements. These specifications may seem like common sense, but it's too costly to base your safety purchase decisions on guesswork. It can be difficult to make the best safety signage decisions for your business. Here are some answers to popular questions on emergency exit sign and exit route regulations:
When should exit signs be installed? OSHA requires exit routes be fully maintained during any construction, alteration, or repair work. Employees cannot be allowed in the workplace until these measures are in place. Use of temporary exit signs and markings can be helpful during times of large-scale construction.
What are lettering requirements? Each sign must have "EXIT" legibly printed across the field. The principle stroke of lettering ought to be at least six inches high and three-fourths of an inch wide.
What color are OSHA approved exit signs? While the industry standard is a color scheme of red and white, 1972 OSHA regulations specify that any distinct, high-contrast color combination is acceptable. Some common color combinations include green and white, and monochrome black and white.
What emergency exit sign illumination is required? Electrically powered signs must be illuminated to 54 lux by a distinctively colored, reliable light source. Photoluminescent materials or tritium signs (self luminous exit signs) must have a luminescence of at least .06 footlamberts.
Do other egress requirements apply? It's important that all exit routes are clearly marked at eye-level to assist in safely and quickly leaving the building. Markings should be illuminated, either with emergency lighting or photoluminescent materials, adequate for employees with normal vision.
Now that you have the facts, where do you go from there? There are many options when designing exit routes for your workplace. One option that meets and exceeds all OSHA standards for exit signs and means of egress is photoluminescent egress lighting and exit signage.
Federal buildings across the United States are in the process of switching to photoluminescent exit signs. The Federal Energy Management Program has endorsed this zero-emission technology, nationwide. They demonstrate several benefits beyond what electric exit signs can provide and are easier to maintain than other available options, such as tritium products.
Photoluminescent exit signs and egress lighting are a low-cost option. They are zero-energy, zero-emission, and will lower annual energy costs by thousands of dollars. Powered solely by ambient fluorescent lighting, these signs store light and maintain clear, OSHA-compliant visibility in cases of emergency.
Photoluminescent exit signs are also easy to install and maintain. No electricians are needed, as there are no wires, plugs, or batteries. They provide their own illumination. You will not have to install additional sign illumination devices. There are no breakable tubes and no light bulbs to replace. Maintenance is simple with only occasional inspections necessary to ensure their 25+ year durability.
Whatever option suits your workplace, safety is crucial in any successful business establishment. Arm yourself with knowledge of all regulations and choose the best emergency exit solution for your employees, your budget, and the environment. Lives are counting on it.
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