Prohibition signs

What is a prohibition sign?

The HSE defines a prohibition safety sign as being displayed to prohibit behaviour “likely to increase or cause danger”. UK law dictates that prohibited signs must feature a circle with red edging on a white background. In specific cases, this can also include a black pictogram to visually enhance the message.

This prohibition symbol is easily recognisable and therefore effective at helping people who might struggle to read the text interpret the sign's meaning accurately.

What examples are there of prohibition signs?

Examples of prohibition signs include access signs such as “Do not enter”, machinery safety signs including "Do not touch signs", or legal health instructions like “No smoking signs”.

In general prohibition signs tend to contain instructions beginning “No” or “Do not”. The message is intended to inform that certain actions are unsafe, or not permitted due to health and safety regulations. This language also makes the instruction as clear as possible.

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