Safety signs have taken on the colour “green” with a new safety sign service using recycled materials, sustainable design principles and printers driven by solar power.
When you stride into an office, warehouse or factory, the essential part of staying safe is knowing what to do, where to go and how to act. “Workplace safety comes from having bred a culture of safety - an ethic that touches all levels of the organisation,” says Roger Carthew, Managing Director of the new safety sign shop at www.safetysignshop.net.au .
“The silent sentinels of safety are the signs,”, he explained, “and we’ve just made them better. We have a serious commitment to improving environmental performance, to making things greener in a definable and measurable way."
In April 2007 he installed a bank of solar panels. They generate sufficient electricity in situ to power the machines for printing the two thousand plus selection of safety signs required to cater for the needs of offices, construction sites, warehouses, factories and the mining industry.
“Before we installed the panels, we measured our energy use for a month to ensure we installed the right number,” Mr Carthew said.
“The normal conception is that anything with green credentials automatically costs more. It’s a huge turn-off to buying green. While people will buy green, they’d prefer to pay the same price as the conventional product.”
As community demands for safe workplaces have grown more vocal, so too has the number of safety sign manufacturers. "‘So, why too would I join the fray?" asks Carthew.
“We simply knew how to do it better. At the time we installed the solar panels; we introduced digital printing, then implemented a ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing system, and finally sourced eco-friendly metal supplies; the outcome being a high quality safety sign that is exceptionally well priced. Our customers wanted a simple, fast service and so we created an Internet-based on-line safety sign shop (http://www.safetysignshop.net.au/).”
Using this system some twenty two thousand sign permutations are available, without even a single safety sign in stock - all shipped within two days of receiving an order - and often on the same day.
At the core of their manufacturing capabilities is the application of sustainable design principles, digital technologies and honest sweat and labour in the sign shop.
Beyond the print powered by the sun slogan that Mr Carthew has attached to his signs, he has also identified the end-users’ need for fixtures and fittings by which to place the signs on walls, fences, gates and so on, all of which is a free service: “How often do you have a sign and nothing to fix it with - we’ve solved that problem,” he noted.
For Mr Carthew, the future of “being eco-friendly”, rests in the hands of manufacturers’ striving to make these eco-friendly products competitive in price, and comparable in features to conventional products on the market.
“My latest safety-sign innovations cost no more than signs that cost the Earth,” says Roger Carthew with a wry smile.
Roger Carthew is an Eco-preneur and Managing Director of Roger Carthew Printing, a leading eco-friendly manufacturing printer. Using leading-edge digital technologies in concert with self-generated solar power, recycled materials and innovative approaches, the company makes an extensive range of safety signs.
Roger Carthew Printing, is a business of the Carthew Group, which has wide-ranging interests in souvenirs, green consumer products, bar accessories, giant game party hire, vintage and nostalgia advertising signs for interior decor, handcrafted artistic chessboards and making industrial safety signs.
Images for publication: photos of safety signs and the solar panels are available for download at http://www.rogercarthew.com/solar-electricity-and-safety-signs-photos.htm
They are copyright free if used in accordance with the stated conditions.
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