The need for signage has exploded over the last few months; supermarkets, hospitals, warehouses, and any other open places of business, have been implementing health and safety messages and social distancing rules everywhere to ensure they aren’t missed. These include reminders to regularly wash and sanitise hands, wear masks and gloves and markers to space out two metre distances.
In a recent poll of 1,000 people, 44% of working adults said they felt anxious about returning to work because of the health risks posed by COVID-19; clear office signage to communicate health and safety measures is one major step towards minimising that anxiety, ensuring that the transition from lockdown to a new way of working is made as seamless and stress-free as possible. Because of this, there has also been a rise in the need for laminators, as laminated signage not only protects the sign itself with a clear layer of plastic, but it’s wipe-clean and easy to disinfect, long-lasting and can be used both indoors and out. This rise in the popularity of lamination will only continue as organisations slowly re-open.
Laminating is the quickest, and most effective, way to ensure that any printed documentation is made hygienic – ensuring compliance with any COVID-19 cleaning policy rules a business has in place; it’s also cost-effective, as sticker printing and permanent sign production can prove expensive in comparison. Lamination seals paper within a durable film which not only keeps it in perfect condition, but is also tear-proof and waterproof.
So which organisations utilise lamination most?
Any office-based business will use lamination for signage and displays, as well as to keep important documents protected. As we return to work over the coming months there will be an upswing in the need for signage due to social distancing measures and the necessity to communicate them effectively throughout corridors, meeting rooms, toilets and breakout areas. Areas previously accessible by everybody will also be restricted via signage; for example, employees will require a designated desk area or workspace rather than hot-desking using shared desks.
As schools gradually reopen information on hygiene and social distancing will be required throughout all areas including classrooms, corridors, offices and outdoors areas. Laminating these signs will make them robust enough for regular handling by staff and pupils alike, and will mean they are all wipe-clean and able to safely adhere to health and safety rules.
Hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes
More than most environments, healthcare organisations need clear, consistent signage outlining warnings and advice throughout. On top of this, they have to be able to be disinfected on a very regular basis – and this is where lamination trumps everything else.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – signage needn’t be entirely used for warnings. The display of health and wellness information throughout a workplace helps support a healthy culture and mindset – something workers sorely need right now, and will continue to need in the future. Posters encouraging healthy eating, rest, exercise and emotional wellbeing will show those returning to work that they are cared for by their employers, and ensure they feel safe.
How to implement a phased return to work responsibly
- Consult with staff on a risk assessment to create new rules for ensuring the workplace is as safe as possible.
- Maintain social distancing everywhere by staggering start times, creating one-way walkways and configuring the office so that seats are two metres apart. Signage plays a very important part here.
- Communicate with colleagues regarding the new rules, including guidelines for home working.
- Communicate with third parties, as any visitors to the workplace will need to be made aware of the rules and maintain their distance.