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Mandatory signs

Mandatory signs are required by UK law to show positive actions and prescribe specific behaviour necessary to stay safe in a public access area and comply with The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. Mandatory symbols feature a white image (pictogram) on a blue circle. 


Additional instructions, such as “must be worn” or “must use” for example, are added in white text on a blue background to re-affirm the safety message. Whether in the UK or elsewhere in the EU, the symbols used are designed to have the same meaning. The signs should be clearly displayed and used to inform employees and visitors of safeguards that must be followed to keep everyone safe in potentially dangerous areas on a premises. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) signs are the most recognisable mandatory signs used in the workplace. In particularly noisy environments such as in manufacturing, signs such as “Wear ear protection” are required. On construction sites where falling objects or the risk of head injuries is always an issue, “Hard hats must be worn” signs are legally required.

You may operate in food processing or the catering industry where hygiene, contamination and sharp objects such as knives are potential hazards to health and safety. In these environments, mandatory signs that include “Wash your hands”, “Cooked meats only” and “Wear hand protection”.