Guide on Safety Signs

Written by regionadmin

22nd February 2022

guide on safety signs

What Are Safety Signs?

Safety signs are symbols and pictures that are used to highlight safety issues, which will warn workers in security sites and other industries about hazards that they need to be aware of. This ensures that they take the appropriate level of caution.

In general, the signs are a series of colors and images, with many lacking text so that they can be universally understood in any language. Often coming under the banner of health and safety signs, it is important to be familiar with them when working in a number of industries. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Do Safety Signs Mean?

Safety signs mean that there is an increased level of danger in the area where the signs are displayed, meaning that anyone in this area should act with caution. In the UK, particularly in warehouses and security sites, safety signs have to legally comply with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 (the Regulations).

What Is The Purpose Of Safety Signs?

The main purpose of safety signs is to warn people of any dangers or hazards that may cause them harm. The idea is to make staff and visitors aware of the hazards so that they can act with care and prevent nasty injuries or accidents from happening. Safety signs are also there to protect businesses as without warning signs, employees could become injured, with the company being liable.

What Are Safety Signs Used For?

As mentioned above, safety signs, sometimes known as caution signs, are used to warn of dangers. They may also indicate safety procedures or exit routes where needed so that people know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. They are used by businesses to protect their workers, but also to ensure that they are complying with the relevant regulations.

Where Are Safety Signs Needed?

If there are dangers within a building, warehouse or construction site that pose a significant risk to anyone in the area, then safety signs are necessary. This is especially important in areas where signs could reduce the risk for workers by making them more aware of their surroundings. Safety signs are necessary in all areas where people are employed, and significant risk is evident.

When needed, safety signs must be used in work places to help manage road traffic. Additionally, it is vital that employers ensure that safety signs are maintained so that they are clear and visible to staff. To help with staff understanding, any signs that are unfamiliar should be explained to employees so that they know how to be careful around these dangers.

prohibition signs

How Many Safety Signs Are There?

Within the U.K., there are four types of safety signs that are required by UK law. These are fire safety signs, emergency exit signs, road traffic regulations within the workplace, and prohibition signage. Safety signs can also be split into four separate categories which are prohibition signs, warning signs, mandatory signs, and emergency signs.

Prohibition Signs

These signs are there to stop people from acting in certain ways to help reduce their risk of danger. For example, ‘do not enter’ or ‘no smoking’ signs. They are there to reinforce rules, reminding those who read them of workplace guidelines.

These signs have a red background, with those that include images generally being surrounded by a white circle with a diagonal line across it to show that something should not be done. Generally, if these signs include writing, they begin with ‘no’ or ‘do not’ to give clear guidelines to those who are reading them.

Mandatory Signs

Mandatory signs generally show actions that must be followed according to site or location rules. These actions may include wearing protective equipment or ensuring all fire doors are kept shut. Construction signs tend to be mostly mandatory signs indicating that workers should follow certain guidelines such as wearing hard hats or protective ear coverings in loud environments. Often these signs are for the safety of workers, ensuring that they are protected from the increased risk around them due to the surrounding environment.

The use of some mandatory signs is dictated by the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, but others are optional and dependent on the individual premises. Many of these signs tend to be on a blue background with white text or imagery.

Emergency Signs

Emergency signs are designed to highlight features that will be needed in case of emergency including emergency exits, escape routes, or first aid kits. These signs generally are triangular or square-shaped with green backgrounds and white text and images. Some of these signs, like emergency exit signs, are official health and safety signs dictated by health and safety regulations, while others are optional.

What Are Warning Safety Signs?

Warning safety signs are hazard signs that are there to highlight a danger to workers, ensuring that they are extra careful and understand the dangers they may be facing. Danger signs are required by U.K. law, as described in the (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and in some instances in the Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990.

Safety signs and symbols that give a warning will be used to make sure people are aware of danger, such as warning signs like high voltage or flammable chemicals. Warning signs are yellow in colour with safety symbols or pictures showing the danger, surrounded by a black band. Generally, they are triangular in shape meaning that they can be spotted easily and so that they stand out from other signage.

What Are Safety Signs And When To Use Them?

Whether it be construction signs or security safety signs, there are warnings everywhere that let both employees and visitors aware of the hazards that they may face.  Security safety is an important part of our role here at Region Security, and we use signs to help warn our clients in warehouses and construction signs of the dangers that they may face in order to keep them safe.

To stay up to date with all the latest safety tips and guides, check out our news page where you can find articles about physical security and about performing a citizen’s arrest.

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