Safety signs

26 August 2021

Safety signs play an important role in warning of hazards or advising on what precautions need to be taken.

Fire exit sign

They include signboards, illuminated signs, acoustic signals (such as, a warning sound, bell or pre-recorded evacuation message) or verbal communications given by others.

We are used to seeing them wherever we go – in shops, offices, leisure centres, cinemas, hotels and a variety of other places we might visit. They are divided into categories according to the type of message they convey, with each assigned a specific format and set of colours. In some instances, signs are required to be displayed by law.

You may need to provide:

  • safety signs where risk assessments (under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations) indicate that they are needed. For example, this may be to meet duties under the Health and Safety (First-aid) Regulations; Control of Noise at Work Regulations etc.
  • fire safety signs in accordance with the requirements of your fire risk assessment
  • road traffic safety signs where there is a risk from the presence or movement of traffic
  • relevant information and training for employees on the meaning of any safety signs or signals provided and the precautions to be taken where they are displayed.

Any signs displayed may need to meet certain specifications relating to their size, colour, shape and format of any text.

Read more about using safety signs.