A New Approach to Reducing Risk: Proven Aquatic Safety Sign Systems

Blog by: Derek Eversdyke of Clarion Safety Systems

Safety signs are a critical part of the water safety program at your swimming pool. They help to keep swimmers safe from harm and to fulfill your legal duty to warn. Your signs may be providing a layer of protection for your guests – but are they providing an effective layer of protection?
Nearly all pool signs in use today don’t follow the latest standards-based best practices to effectively communicate safety information. Typical text-only signs go unnoticed. Their ad hoc assortment of written warnings fail to call attention to the most important safety messages that need to be followed in pool environments. Tragic accidents occur when water safety signs go unheeded; consider the potential outcome of a child left unattended, a non-swimmer not wearing a life jacket, or someone diving into shallow water.

Old, Text-Only Pool Safety Sign

A typical text-only pool safety sign

Safety signs based on the latest best practices can help to better protect people and reduce liability risk. Today’s best practices include:

  • Compliance with the latest American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) safety sign standards, including providing complete content on the hazard and how to avoid the hazard
  • A systems approach: repetition of messages to communicate the most important water safety warnings at various critical points
  • Tailored content to be specific to the environment at hand
  • Bi-lingual messages to communicate to multi-national audiences
  • Graphical symbols for immediate noticeability and more universal comprehension

New, Best Practice Pool Safety Sign

A best practice pool safety sign, including graphical symbols and color-coding 
(Sign design ©Clarion Safety Systems. All rights reserved.)

The last item on that list – graphical symbols and comprehension – is an important one. After developing its best practice sign system using internationally-formatted graphical symbols, Clarion Safety Systems took an approach that’s never been done before: we put the signs’ effectiveness at conveying intended messages to the test. Results of extensive comprehension testing (performed through a partnership with nationwide, third-party experts) confirm that the signs’ symbols, text, and design enable people to effectively understand the most important pool safety messages – resulting in more meaningful communication.

/Comprehension Testing Graphic

Comprehension testing results of key safety messages – including “Watch Your Children” and “Non-Swimmers Wear Life Jackets” – confirm quick and effective understanding 
(Sign designs ©Clarion Safety Systems. All rights reserved.)

This type of safety sign comprehension testing provides pool owners with the evidence needed to prove that safety messages are effective and that their legal duty to warn has been met. In addition, viewer polls of the Clarion sign system as a whole show the effectiveness of signs working together to communicate safety messages. Over 85% of test participants agreed that the pool safety sign system is “better” at promoting pool safety than other common pool rules signs. 

Does your pool sign system give you the confidence to know that you’ve proactively reduced liability risk for your organization and – more importantly – kept people safe? For more information, visit Clarion’s online Water Safety Sign Learning Center or contact us today.

Derek-Eversdyke-HeadshoDerek Eversdyke, Director of Facility Safety Products at Clarion Safety Systems, is experienced in collaborating with workplace safety professionals on sign systems that can help to reduce risk and protect people. He has worked with aquatic safety customers small and large – as well as well-known industry advocates – since Clarion launched its innovative pool safety sign system product line in 2012. Clarion designs and produces best practice safety sign and label systems for products and environments.  Over the past 25 years, they’ve helped to write the standards that manufacturers in the U.S. and across the globe need to meet. Clarion is an active member of the ANSI and ISO standards committees. Be sure to check out Clarion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and the company's blog!



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