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10 Things your business should know about warning signs

1. Warning signs are used to advise members of the public or staff members of a hazard or danger.
2. The Safety signs and signals regulations 1996 were brought in to standardise safety signs throughout the states of the European Union with the intention that safety signs have the same implication throughout Europe.
3. The regulations require employers to display relevant safety signs where there is a risk that can not be eliminated or restricted by other means.
4. The safety signs and signals regulations relate to all areas where people are employed.
5. Warning signs have to be triangular shaped or contain a triangle to act in accordance with the safety signs and signals regulations 1996.
6. They should also have a yellow backdrop and show a black icon symbolising the type of danger so the meaning of the warning sign is obvious to non – readers or those who do not speak English.
7. Examples include:
•  Low Temperature 
•  Electricity 
•  Asbestos 
•  Industrial Trucks 
•  Trip Hazard 
•  Hazardous Area 
•  Slippery Surface 
•  Anti-climb Paint 
•  Falling Objects 
•  Guard Dogs 
•  Mind the Step 
•  Hazardous Waste
8. A general warning sign shows a black exclamation mark on a yellow triangle background.
9. Current Health and Safety law requires every company to ensure that:
• Health and safety training is provided for all employees 
• Accident records are used and kept up to date 
• Relevant Health and Safety and Warning Signs are displayed all over the business premises for the safety of all staff and visitors to your premises.
10. All workplaces must display a ‘Health and Safety law’ poster. These inform the reader of current British Health and Safety laws. The HSE published an updated version of their approved poster on 6 April 2009. To stop unnecessary expense for businesses there is a five year transition period for replacing the current poster meaning that they must be replaced by the new version by 5 April 2014.