Key Sign Characteristics for Mining

A visual communication strategy improves any workplace safety program, and this especially true in the dangerous workplaces in the mining industry. You can purchase signs and labels for your mine and in many cases, you can create signs yourself. In either case, keep these characteristics of signs and sign materials in mind during your selection process.


Signs in mines will likely be exposed to the elements. At surface mines, this could include rain, ice, and UV rays. Underground, this could include water or chemicals. Select sign materials designed to withstand these tough conditions to increase the life of your signs.


Glow-in-the-dark signs play a key role in dark environments, especially during power outages or in low-light areas. Remember, though, that these materials usually need to be exposed to light to “charge”, so in environments that are always very dark, photoluminescent signs might not be the best option.

Bold Text & Images

Mines can be busy work environments, and you want signs to be noticed among this activity. Choosing large, bold text and clear images will increase the likelihood your signs will be noticed and the likelihood they will be understood. Make sure to select appropriate colors for signs as well. In most cases, a bright sign is most noticeable.


In dark, underground environments, reflective signs will be noticeable whenever vehicle lights, headlamps, and other lights shine on them. Reflective signs can even play a key role above ground, especially when a lot of vehicles move around the worksite. Just as your workers would wear high-visibility reflective gear to be seen by vehicle drivers, signs bene t from reflectivity, too.

Tools for Creating Signs and Labels

Creating signs yourself in house is often the most cost-effective solution, especially if you’ll be creating a lot of signs and labels for your mine. At many mines, the worksite itself changes regularly and you’ll need to keep up with the changes by putting up new signs.

The LabelTac series of industrial thermal printers make the process of creating customized signs easy and will give you a professional-grade sign. Use LabelTac® 4 Series printers to print signs and labels up to 4 inches tall. These portable printers are ideal for printing tool labels, equipment labels, operational instructions, and more. For larger signs, use a LabelTac® 9 printer that can print signs and labels up to 9 inches tall. These printers work well for wayfinding signage, signs posted on doors, and other markings that need to be large.

Sign Placement

Once you’ve obtained the signs you need, consider the best locations for sign placement. Should a sign be placed on a piece of equipment? On a door? At an intersection? Would it make the most sense to place a label at eye level or near the floor or ceiling?

Think about where people will be standing or sitting when they encounter a sign. Also consider where they will be when they need the information that sign conveys. Sign placement is very application specific and it’s worth spending time planning these details.

Additional Resources