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Keep-Out Signage: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are keep-out signs used for?

A.

Keep-out signs communicate to visitors and/or workers that they may not enter certain facilities, structures, or areas owing to these being private or containing hazards that can lead to illness or injuries. These signs are used by private property owners as well as businesses and work as effective visual communication tools to prevent unauthorized access and trespassing.

Q. Is it mandatory for businesses to post keep-out signs?

A.

Posting keep-out signs is not a mandatory requirement but a good practice to prevent workplace hazards by restricting access to potentially dangerous areas or processes to a select few trained individuals. This helps employers to provide workers with a safe worksite and comply with the basic OSHA requirement.

Q. Are there any standards or regulations around keep-out signage?

A.

There are no such regulations or requirements around keep-out signage, but the common best practices apply to these signs as well. These include posting signs conspicuously, choosing an appropriate text size and sign size, using electing contrasting colors that grab attention, etc. 


When used with safety headers such as “Danger - Keep Out”, or Warning and Notice, keep-out signs do need to comply with the relevant OSHA safety signage requirements.

Q. What are the advantages of using keep-out signs?

A.

Keep-out signs are an effective tool to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering restricted-access spaces and private properties. These help private property owners to legally enforce their rights, keep trespassers at bay, and protect their property from vandalism and theft. 

Employers benefit from keep-out signs by alerting unauthorized workers against entering restricted areas or carrying out tasks they are not supposed to. The signs, thus, prevent accidents and promote workplace safety. 

Additionally, these signs also give the property owners/employers a certain level of protection from liability in the event of an accident on the property/workplace. 

Q. Does keep-out mean the same as no trespassing?

A.

There’s not much of a difference between keep-out and no-trespassing. Both terms indicate restricted access and are often used interchangeably. Where no-trespassing implies an unauthorized person should not set foot on private property, keep-out messages are often used in workplaces as well to ensure hazard-prone areas or systems are accessed by authorized, trained workers only.

Q. Are keep-out signs enforceable?

A.

Keep-out signs are a way for property owners to legally assert their right to choose who may enter their property and, thus, are enforceable. An action can be taken against a person who ignores the sign and enters the property in violation of the property rules.

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