Learn about the safety and security signs you need to meet for the legal requirements and regulations in the United Kingdom and keep your personnel safe in your workspace. Printing and displaying these signs will have an impact on the number of incidents in your workplace, and of course some of them are mandatory by law. Safety signs in the UK have been categorised into a few main types to implement a consistent design across all similar functions. By understanding these signs and their purpose, you can identify what you need exactly in your workspace and where you should display them.
There are two types of safety signs that have been classified by the British Standard regulation for safety signs on the occupational environment. These signs include instructions on what cannot be done or needs to be done:
When you need to tell your employees that they cannot do a specific thing, you will need to install a prohibition sign. Keep individuals from entering into a private property with the usual “no entry” sign or signal that workers are not allowed to smoke in a specific area with the infamous “no smoking” sign.
A mandatory sign is necessary when you need to provide an instruction that must be followed. You will recognise these signs by a white symbol or pictogram inside a blue circle on a blank background. If your workspace needs protective clothing or special equipment, for example, you will need signs like: “Hands Protection Must Be Used In This Area” or “Eye Protection Must Be Used In This Area”.
There are also two other types of safety signs that are classified as hazard signs. These hazard signs describe what could actually hurt or even kill you:
If you want to warn your workers about potentially dangerous or even life-threatening hazardous conditions, you need to utilise a proper danger sign. It must include the word “danger” in bold, capital letters, so that it will alert employees about the threat. Most common danger signs include messages such as “do not enter” or “high voltage”.
When the hazardous conditions are in fact not life-threatening, a warning sign will be enough, which lets you know that you might still get hurt. These signs are very easy to identify due to their yellow background and black triangle surrounding the hazard symbol. A very commonly recognisable warning sign is the infamous “slippery when wet”.
There are other two types of safety signs that are purely informative signs:
If something goes wrong, emergency signs can help workers find the directions to the emergency related facilities, such as emergency exits or first aid, or even safety equipment. The usual green background and white writing with symbols is very easily identifiable for safety, with the most common signs being “emergency phone” or “first aid kit”.
The intense red of fire signs makes them very easy to see around fire alarms. All text is white and stands out in contrast with the red background. Fire signs are there to indicate the location of the fire equipment, such as fire extinguishers, fire hoses, and other elements.
This categorisation shows the significance of compliant safety signage that actually meets the design and colour principles laid out by the United Kingdom Standard. By utilising consistent signage you will increase awareness and compliance to their messaging. If you require advice on the adequate safety signage needs for your office, or a provider who can offer you A0 printing for your office signage you can look for a provider in your local area.