The government of Mexico implements a set of standards designed to ensure the well-being of workers in various industries. NOM 026 STPS is one of these regulations and it establishes specific requirements for safety signs, colors, and symbols in workplaces such as a warehouse.
Like NOM 006 STPS, which is dedicated to handling and storing materials in a Mexican warehouse, NOM 026 STPS is a mandatory standard issued by the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS). It provides clear guidelines on effectively conveying important safety information to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in logistics businesses.
NOM 026 STPS was created based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for graphic symbols, colors, and safety signs. It is applicable nationwide and shows, among other points, the obligations of employers and personnel.
Serviap Logistics helps set up, refit, and relocate warehouses and distribution centers in Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, in full compliance with all regulations in each country.
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Importance of NOM 026 STPS in Mexican warehouses
NOM 026 STPS is mandatory in different industries in Mexico. It must be implemented in every warehouse or local distribution center, for a number of different reasons.
Worker safety: the primary objective of NOM 026 STPS is to safeguard the well-being of workers. By providing clear and consistent warehouse safety standards, any logistics business reduces the risk of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. It also helps employers minimize their liability for workplace accidents.
Legal compliance: following the provisions of NOM 026 STPS is mandatory in Mexico. Employers who fail to adhere to these regulations can face legal consequences, such as fines or costly shutdowns.
Increased productivity: a safe work environment boosts employee morale and productivity. Workers who feel safe and secure will likely be more engaged and focused on their tasks as operators in a warehouse or distribution center.
Global standards: NOM 026 STPS aligns with international occupational safety standards, such as ISO, making it easier for Mexican companies to compete globally. It also ensures that foreign firms in Mexico comply with recognized safety criteria.
Key provisions in the NOM 026 STPS
To fully understand NOM 026 STPS, it is necessary to look at what it covers, and the obligations of the employer and employees:
Safety signs: the standard mandates using safety signs to indicate potential hazards, emergency exits, and the location of safety equipment. These signs must be visible, easily understandable, and consistently applied throughout the warehouse or distribution center.
Colors and symbols: NOM 026 STPS establishes the following standardized color code and symbols to convey specific safety-related information:
|Safety color||Meaning||Indications and details|
|Red||Stop||Stop signs and emergency devices|
|Prohibition||Signs to prohibit specific actions|
|Material, equipment and systems for firefighting||Location of equipment and identification of pipes that carry fluids for firefighting|
|Yellow||Danger warning||Attention, caution, verification and identification of pipes that carry dangerous fluids|
|Delimitation of areas||Limits of restricted areas or specific uses|
|Danger warning from ionizing radiation||Signage to indicate the presence of radioactive material|
|Green||Safe conditions||Identification of pipes that carry low risk fluids. Signs to indicate emergency exits, evacuation routes, safety and first aid areas, meeting places, emergency showers, eyewashes, among others|
|Blue||Obligation||Signs to carry out specific actions|
Employer’s obligations: the employer must locate the safety and hygiene signs, preventing them from being obstructed. Also, they must provide adequate training to their workers to understand the meaning of the safety signs, colors, and symbols related to NOM 026 STPS.
Employee obligations: workers must participate in training activities, respect and apply the NOW 026 STPS guidelines as established by the employer, and use all safety equipment well.
Compliance audits: regulatory authorities may conduct inspections to verify compliance with NOM 026 STPS. Non-compliance may result in sanctions and/or fines for employers.
NOM 026 STPS: compliance risks and solutions
NOM 026 STPS is a strict local standard, so adherence can be challenging for some companies. Below are the most common compliance issues and some solutions to address them:
Lack of awareness: some employers may be unaware of the requirements outlined in NOM 026 STPS. In this case, they can approach a warehouse setup consultant, an expert with extensive knowledge of local regulations that help logistics businesses operate smoothly.
Implementation cost: implementing safety signs and symbols can be costly for companies, especially when good quality and more durable materials are chosen. However, the potential savings from avoiding accidents and legal fines outweigh these costs.
Language barriers: in workplaces with diverse and multilingual workforces, language barriers may exist. In these cases, it is essential to use universally recognized symbols and incorporate signage in multiple languages where necessary.
Regular maintenance: ensuring the durability and visibility of safety signs can be a challenge. In this case, it is best to have a maintenance program in place in addition to regular industrial warehouse cleaning. This will keep the signs in good condition and free of dirt.
NOM 026 STPS is fundamental to preserving the safety and well-being of employees in warehouses, distribution centers, and logistics parks in Mexico. By adhering to its provisions, employers comply with their legal obligations and create safer and more productive work environments.
For companies operating in Mexico or planning to expand into the Mexican market, understanding and complying with NOM 026 STPS is non-negotiable. Companies can thrive competitively and responsibly by prioritizing workplace safety and following the regulations outlined in the standard.
The provisions are designed to save lives, prevent accidents, and protect companies from legal repercussions. Employers should consider compliance with NOM 026 STPS not only as a regulatory obligation but as a commitment to the safety and well-being of their workforce.
Serviap Logistics offers compliant warehouse setup
At Serviap Logistics, we are experts in setting up, refitting, and relocating warehouses in Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. Everywhere we work, we do so in full compliance with local regulations, such as NOM 026 STPS.
Thanks to our ability to meet tight deadlines without sacrificing quality or safety, we have become the trusted partner for some of the world’s largest companies, covering the wholesale, automotive, and e-commerce sectors, among others.
Contact us to find out how we can assist you.