Call us Mon-Fri 8.00am-5.30pm
0800 612 7831

10 Things your organization needs to know about safety signs

1. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that employers are legally obliged to provide Health and Safety signs on any workplace risk that is not satisfactorily controlled by other means. If a safety sign would not help to decrease that hazard, there is no need to display a sign.
2. The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 enforce standards regarding the supply and use of signs in the workplace. The Directive aims to promote the standardization of warning signs throughout the member states of the European Union by using universally recognised pictograms, colours and shapes.
3. As well as ‘traditional’ safety and warning signs, the Regulations also cover:
•  hand and acoustic signals (eg fire alarms) 
•  verbal communication 
•  illuminated signs 
•  the marking of pipework containing hazardous substances 
4. The regulations apply to all places where people are employed and oblige employers to:
•  Explain new or unfamiliar signs to employees 
•  Provide road traffic signs within a workplace where this is relevant 
•  To maintain any signs which have been provided by them 
5. Safety signs differ in colour and shape according to their meaning.
6. Danger or Prohibition is shown by a red circle with a crossed out image:
•  No-smoking 
•  No running 
•  No entry 
•  No exit 
•  No parking
7. Mandatory signs show a blue circle with a white pictogram and tell you what should be done:
•  Wear ear protection 
•  Wear eye protection 
•  Wear protective footwear 
•  Fire door - keep shut
8. Safe condition signs point out safety apparatus or emergency exit routes. These have a white image on a green square oblong or square backdrop:
•  Fire exit 
•  Fire Assembly point 
•  Directional arrows 
•  Fire exit - keep clear
9. Warning signs are triangular and yellow with a black pictogram. These warn of danger:
•  Electricity 
•  Toxic 
•  Chemicals 
•  Flammable 
•  Forklift Trucks 
•  Mind the Step
10. Fire Equipment signs are white with a red background and are there to mark the whereabouts of fire safety equipment:
•  Fire alarm 
•  Fire point