Safety Signs - The Sign Shed

Safety Signs

What Health and Safety Signs should you display in the UK?

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers in the UK to provide safety signs if there is a significant risk to health and safety that cannot be avoided or controlled by other methods. This only applies when a sign can be shown to reduce the risk further.

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Some common examples of safety signs, including emergency signs that you may need to display in the UK, include:

  • Mandatory PPE signs instruct workers and visitors to wear specific types of personal protective equipment (PPE). For example, you may need to display signs requiring workers to wear hard hats, eye protection, or ear protection.
  • Prohibition signs: These signs prohibit certain activities or behaviours. For example, you may need to display signs prohibiting smoking, eating, or drinking in certain areas.
  • Warning signs: These signs warn people of potential hazards. For example, you may need to display signs warning of wet floors, overhead, or electrical hazards.
  • Emergency exit signs direct people to the nearest emergency exit.
  • Fire safety signs provide information about fire safety procedures and equipment. For example, you may need to display signs showing the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarms.

You may also need to display additional health and safety signs depending on the specific hazards present in your workplace. For example, if you have hazardous chemicals on-site, you may need to display signs warning people of the hazards and how to protect themselves.

When choosing and displaying health and safety signs, it is essential to consider the following factors:

  • The type of hazard: Make sure that the sign is appropriate for the type of hazard. For example, a prohibition sign can prevent people from engaging in a dangerous activity, and a warning sign can alert people to a potential hazard.
  • The hazard location: Place signs in prominent locations where people are likely to see them, such as near the hazard itself, at entrances to hazardous areas, and along evacuation routes.
  • The wording of the sign: The wording of the sign should be clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that people may not understand.
  • The visibility of the sign: Make sure that the sign is well-lit, especially at night.
  • The condition of the sign: Keep the sign free of debris and obstructions. Inspect signs regularly to ensure that they are in good condition and effective.
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