Industrial Signage, such as directional signs that are used to direct us or to warn signs alerting us of potential hazards, are crucial to many different industries. It might be difficult to understand industrial signage because there are so many variations in how it is used and applied. However, it is the underappreciated hero of modern industries.

But do not be alarmed; we have pulled together a comprehensive guide aimed at professionals, business owners, and enthusiasts who want to understand industrial signage thoroughly. This guide explores the important topics related to industrial signage, including materials, installation, regulatory compliance, design principles, and emerging trends.

Why Industrial Signage Matters?

Investing in Industrial Signage is a proactive way to create a safer work environment helping to reduce accidents in the workplace. All industries are extremely important whether manufacturing, heavy industry, on construction sites, or even in office-based environments. It’s a reminder to employees to always be cautious.


The most important reason for having sufficient safety signs on site is safety. All workplaces legally require risk assessments, and if a safety sign would help reduce the risk, then a sign must be installed.

Causes of injury are commonly categorised by;

  • Slips, trips and falls on the same level
  • Handling, lifting or carrying
  • Struck by moving object
  • Falls from height
  • Act of Violence

Signage can often reduce the risk by simply making staff and visitors aware of the hazards in the working environment. For example signage can indicate un-even floor surface or indicate weight loads of heavy goods. By highlighting these, staff and visitors can act accordingly to avoid injury.

Screenshot of Non- fatal injuries

The bar chart illustrates the most common types of non-fatal injuries reported under RIDDOR in 2022/23. The most frequent accidents involve slips, trips, or falls. According to RIDDOR 2022/23, 60,645 employees reported a non-fatal injury. RIDDOR mandates the reporting of non-fatal injuries to ensure accurate data collection. The current rate of self-reported non-fatal injuries is similar to pre-pandemic levels, with 1,750 injuries per 100,000 workers, indicating a general downward trend.


In the realm of workplace safety, understanding and adhering to key legal requirements is crucial.

Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996:

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 mandate that safety signs must be installed and maintained in workplaces where they can reduce risk, following a thorough risk assessment. It’s important to recognise that while these signs are essential for warning of risks and thus reducing them, they are not a substitute for actual risk control measures.

BE EN ISO 7010

Additionally, signage must align with the BE EN ISO 7010 standard, which specifies the colours and icons to be used. This standardisation ensures that signage maintains a consistent design, making it easily understood in any application. However, the regulations do permit small differences in pictograms, provided these variations do not affect clarity or cause confusion. Compliance with these standards ensures a safer and more comprehensible environment for all employees.


Accidents in the workplace are not only a safety concern but also a significant time waster. In Britain during 2022/23, approximately 2 million working days were lost due to ill health or non-fatal workplace injuries. On average, each affected person took about 15.8 days off. Specifically, 6 days were taken off due to injuries, another 6 days due to stress or mental health issues, 9 days due to musculoskeletal disorders, and 8 days due to various other health issues. Notably, the current rate of days lost is higher than it was before the pandemic. Implementing effective wayfinding in large workplaces can help reduce these numbers by avoiding confusion, ensuring proper use of PPE, and providing clear instructions for machinery use, thereby minimizing delays and enhancing overall safety and efficiency.

Types of Industrial Signage

There are different types of industrial signage, the most common types of industrial signage, include safety signage, emergency signage, and informational signage which are always found around your site or workplace.

Safety Signage

Safety Signage:

Safety signage notifies people of possible dangers such as chemical storage facilities, high-voltage places, and slippery floors. These areas or situations are often there to identify low-risk places of circumstance that require prudence as well as declaring danger that could cause serious harm or even death. These signs are typically red and white.

Signage 101-Infomational

Informational Signage:

Informational signage indicates what must be done, such as putting on a safety harness or protective equipment (PPE). It specifies any behaviours that are forbidden such as entering or smoking. It provides specific information about the facility, such as operating instructions, operational hours, and emergency contact details.

Signage 101- Emergency

Emergency Signs:

Emergency signs are there to enable quick action in the event of a fire, including signs for fire exits, extinguishers, and fire alarms. They mark the location of first aid stations and emergency medical equipment and display escape routes and assembly points for evacuation.

Regulation Standards

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has established statutory requirements that industrial signs in the UK must follow including:

  • Must communicate clear safety-related information and risk.
  • How the signs are used of safety signs and signals in public and workplace settings.

This outlines the Health and Safety Regulations of 1966.

The 2002 Control of Substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations are laws demanding that hazardous materials are to be handled and stored safely. These regulations mandate the installation of suitable signage to alert workers of the potential risk that is associated with these materials.

British Norms (BN) are to guarantee consistency, efficiency, and compliance with safety and quality standards. This includes several standard guidelines that provide recommendations and requirements for various aspects of industrial signage.


Industrial signage is essential yet often overlooked in maintaining safety and efficiency across various industries.

Industrial signage serves to direct, warn of hazards, and provide crucial information, contributing to a safer work environment. Regulations like the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and standards such as BE EN ISO 7010 ensure signage is consistently designed and easily understood, mitigating risks effectively.

Compliance with standards set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the 2002 Control of Substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations ensures stringent safety protocols, safeguarding workers and fostering trust.

In summary, investing in high-quality industrial signage enhances workplace safety, ensures legal compliance, and promotes efficiency. By implementing these principles, businesses can create safer, more productive environments for their employees.