As a business owner, there are many important factors to ensuring the successful operation of your business, but perhaps none more vital than health and safety.

Incorrect or incomplete health and safety measures can ruin a business of any size, but is particularly damaging for small businesses. It is essential to make sure that the correct procedures are followed, as this can start with something as simple as making sure the right signs are in place to avoid accidents.

Here are five signs that are of the upmost importance to any business, to guarantee that employees and customers will be kept safe, and you will not face legal proceedings in the event of an accident on your premises.

1. Fire Safety

Fire safety signs are not only a necessity in terms of protecting those within your business, they are also a legal requirement. Signs clearly marking the whereabouts of the fire exit and any fire safety equipment are the number one priority for any business.

2. Wet Floor sign

There is not a business anywhere that will not sometimes suffer from a slippery floor, whether this is down to a spillage, due to a floor recently having been cleaned, the result of people coming in from the rain and walking across floors, or many other reasons.

Putting a wet floor sign in place substantially lowers the risk of anybody slipping on a wet floor, and protects you in any resulting legal dispute if they do.  The affordable cost of a wet floor sign is a small price to pay for this reassurance.

3. Prohibition sign

It is always surprising what people believe they can get away with if correct signage is not in place. It could be smoking, consuming food and drink, interacting with products, i.e. climbing on furniture or exhibits, parking in front of gates that are needed to let vehicles in and out of the premises, without a warning sign in place, you may find a lot of your day is spent asking people to refrain from such actions.

4. Warning signs

It is not just a wet floor that people need to be warned about. Signs marking certain areas or pieces as equipment as dangerous or hazardous can save unfortunate accidents that can result in serious injuries.

5. First Aid sign

Last but by no means least, you must have a first aid kit on your premises in case of injury to staff or clients. A sign clearly marking this is vital to ensure the whereabouts of the first aid kit are known by customers, new staff, or those who are unsure of the location of the kit due to the panic caused by the situation that has arisen.

There are many more signs, such as those denoting access points, the location of reception areas, apologies for inconvenience caused if a section of your premises has to be closed off for any reason, and many more that can be very useful to a variety of businesses. But whatever your business is, starting with these five signs is an excellent first step to guaranteeing health and safety. Although, obviously, signs are not a replacement for responsible health and safety measures.

Jill Henderson is a representative for Health and Safety Signs who specialise in supplying health and safety signs for businesses.