The Top 10 Safety Signs

top 10 safety signsThe Top 10 safety Signs

Every non domestic premise in the UK is governed by safety legislation and as such will have a need for safety signs. Safety signage is a cost effective and efficient way to warn and educate people to the particular risks associated with a building. While there are some signs, such as fire signs, which will be common to all buildings, there are many others which will only be relevant in certain situations. The way to determine the signs needed should be by way of a full risk assessment and perhaps a sign site survey.

Below we have put together our top 10 list of the typical signs likely to be found in businesses and public buildings, but please bear in mind that every building has different requirements and signage should be judged on individual risk assessments.


health and safety law poster


1. UK Health and Safety Law Poster.

There is a legal requirement to display this poster or distribute equivalent leaflet.

 

 

 

fire action notice2. Fire Action Notices

These are needed to show actions necessary in an emergency such as sounding a fire alarm,

 

 

 

 

 

fire exit sign3. Fire Exit and Emergency Escape signs

These are used to indicate emergency routes and emergency escapes. Used to mark safe means of escape.

ire equipment signs4. Fire Equipment Signs

These are used to mark the location of fire fighting and fire safety equipment.

 

 

 

 

first aid signs5. First Aid Signs

Signs showing the location of first aid facilities. No longer a legal requirement but the Electric Shock Emergency Action sign is also recommended.

 

 

 

 

no smoking signs5. No Smoking

July 2007 saw a total smoking ban in all enclosed public places, work places and certain vehicles in the UK. The smoke free legislation means it is an offence not to display the appropriate No Smoking Signs, resulting in fines up to £1000.

 

 

 

slipper floor signs7. Wet Floors

These need to be used wherever a slippery area is not cordoned off. Most premises will have routine cleaning operations which may leave areas vulnerable. Lightweight stands holding double-sided signs are readily available.

 

 

 

 

mind the step signs 8. Obstacles or Dangerous Locations.

Most buildings however well designed will have localized hazards, the most common of which are trip hazards and low hanging obstacles. So in joint 8th place we have the trip hazard, mind the step and mind your head signs.

caustic, hazardous chemical signs9. Chemical Storage.

Where hazardous cleaning chemicals are stored, apart from keeping the store locked, a suitable warning notice should be posted if it is considered this would help to reduce injury.

first aid for burns posters10. Kitchens/Catering

Most premises have kitchen or catering facilities. Scalds and burns are common, a poster showing recommended action is advisable.

Everything you always wanted to know about COSHH (but were too afraid to ask!) – by RoSPA

Spill kit2 COSHH

A Guide to COSHH – A Guest post from RoSPA

If you’ve ever had any dealings with any aspect of Health and Safety, the chances are you’ve come across the acronym COSHH or one of the COSHH symbols. However, you may still be uncertain about what COSHH actually stands or what the symbols mean. Don’t worry though, help is at hand with our informative short guide to COSHH.

 What does COSSH stand for?

COSHH stands for ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’ and under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, employers need to either prevent or reduce their workers’ exposure to substances that are hazardous to their health.

 What are ‘substances hazardous to health?’

 Broadly speaking, substances hazardous to health include any substances that could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people. These hazardous substances can come in many different forms, including:

  • Chemicals
  • Fumes
  • Dusts
  • Vapours
  • Mists
  • Nanotechnology
  • Gases
  • Asphyxiating gases
  • Biological agents

 

 What do the COSHH symbols stand for?

The COSHH symbols are a set of international symbols that allow you to understand the different hazards within your organisation. They have been in use since 1967, with each symbol representing a different type of hazard. In 2009 the symbols were updated to reflect the international nature of hazardous substances. See the chart below for a guide to the new international hazard symbols:

COSHH symbols

COSHH Training

COSHH training is designed to safeguard your employees, teaching them to to identify, measure and control the exposure to harmful substances. A COSHH training course should provide you with:

 

  • An understanding of how and which substances can harm health
  • Knowledge and definitions of exposure limits
  • Skills to understand exposure and to conduct risk assessments
  • A greater understanding of practical control measures and safe systems of work

 Where can I find out more?

The HSE has a free downloadable guide called ‘Working with substances hazardous to health’ – which is a brief overview of COSHH.

The RoSPA Workplace Safety Blog also contains further information on COSHH, as well as other useful posts on all matters relating to occupational health and safety.

 warning signs and guide

See our offer on this COSHH information pack

Safety Signs Check-up

Safety Signs Check-Up For The New Year

While safety signs may not have been at the top of your Christmas list, this time of year is the perfect time to carry out a signage audit of your premises. The beginning of year is always associated with fresh starts, out with the old and in with the new. We often get renewed energy which gives us the impetus to start new projects or clear the decks in anticipation of what January will bring.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk round your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have aemergency exit signs large or complicated building layout. Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind. While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO7010 versions make sure any missing or damaged signs are replaced with the new updated symbols.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and be easily read, cleaning where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

multi message construction safety signsSignage Clutter

Have you got too many safety signs? are the messages you are giving out confusing? If it is a high hazard area consider replacing a number of your signs with single multi message signs. Having your safety information in one place will not only look smarter but will help reduce sign blindness- where people are so used to seeing the same signs day in day out they in fact cease to register seeing the signs at all.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team sales@stocksigns.co.uk  and don’t forget to order your new 2013 catalogue.

This article was first published in December 2011.

Safety Signs Audit For The New Year

Safety Signs Audit For The New Year

While safety signs may not have been at the top of your Christmas list, this time of year is the perfect time to carry out a signage audit of your premises. The beginning of year is always associated with fresh starts, out with the old and in with the new. We often get renewed energy which gives us the impetus to start new projects or clear the decks in anticipation of what January will bring.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk round your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have aemergency exit signs large or complicated building layout. Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly.If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind. While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO7010 versions make sure any missing or damaged signs are replaced with the new updated symbols.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and be easily read, cleaning where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

multi message construction safety signsSignage Clutter

Have you got too many safety signs? are the messages you are giving out confusing? If it is a high hazard area consider replacing a number of your signs with single multi message signs. Having your safety information in one place will not only look smarter but will help reduce sign blindness- where people are so used to seeing the same signs day in day out they in fact cease to register seeing the signs at all.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team sales@stocksigns.co.uk .

A Surplus of Signs or a Safety Necessity? Safety Signs Clutter Debate

Safety signs clutter?

There has been much talk recently about signs pollution, the proliferation of signs all over our town and countryside, from high street to motorway, from factory to farm. Which not only can blight our landscape or built environment, but also cause confusion by virtue of the sign’s own cluttering promiscuity.

Does this apply to health and safety signs?

Not so, in our view. First, the very purpose of properly located and appropriate safety signage is to protect staff and visitors on your premises, when all other means to mitigate a risk has been considered an actioned.  In this case “familiarity does NOT breed contempt – rather the continual and consistent viability of such safety aids increases awareness and comprehension of the potential dangers and the means of avoiding or evading them. This is not just a negative “do not” approach as is evident from essential use of fire and emergency exit signs in their various forms.

Secondly, the key to effective health and safety signage starts with the comprehensive assessment of the risks in a workplace and, where these can not be avoided, the selection ofmulti message construction safety signs the most appropriate signs – which in many cases, separate safety messages can be incorporated in one multi-purpose sign, so quite legitimately saving space and money.

Safety Signs Training

A further crucial ingredient is the general level of safety awareness that is developed within your organisation, and in particular, the education and training of staff with respect to safety signs. Here, there are a number of  aides, such as pocket guides (for example, these can be included in an induction pack) and the Health and Safety Law Poster safety pocket guidesthat are in any event a legal requirement to display.

In all these areas Stocksigns can help, although ultimately, of course the responsibility lies with you. Our advice, a combination of physical surveys and the wide range of signs on offer, will eliminate the over-use of signs, but protect the organisation, and its employees and visitors, which after all, is the whole point.

Hazard Signs – Understanding Hazard Safety Signs

 

hazard signHazard Signs , Warning, Danger, or Caution safety signs

The category of safety signs generally referred to as “Hazard signs” play an essential role in the management of your safety procedures protecting your staff, visitors and premises. Hazard signs are displayed to advise and forewarn of potential dangers. Hazard signs have a yellow triangle with a black pictogram or symbol on yellow background with a black border. Continue reading

ISO 7010 – An Overview

ISO 7010 safety signsISO 7010 – An Introduction

Over the next few months we will see the adoption of a new standard for safety signs as ISO 7010 is soon to become Pr EN 7010. The change will see safety signs in the workplace move away from being an “International standard” (essentially a recommendation on best practice), to a European norm (meaning the contents of the standard must be written into UK and EU law). ISO 7010 has been developed to provide consistency in design across the EU. We will be phasing in the new designs throughout 2011 and you may notice some design changes to the symbols whereas others will look virtually unchanged. Whilst the new symbols will be replacing the old designs, both designs will still meet your safety obligations.

ISO 7010 – An Overview.

In the late seventies, as the European Community was coming into being, it was recognised that with a large migratory workforce within the EU countries, there would be a real problem communicating health and safety issues.

It was decided to create an international standard based on pictograms. This lead to the publishing, in 1984, of the first health and safety standard; ISO 3864-Safety Colours and Safety Signs, which is still current today and is the basis for both ISO 7010 and BS 5499.

Because ISO 3864 was not grounded in law, it did not become established across the EU. So, in 1992, a European Directive based on ISO 3864 was passed, which made it a legal requirement for member states to write the requirements into their countries health and safety legislation, this was EC Directive 92/58/EEC.
In the UK this took the form of the “Health & Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.

The Directive was a bit vague regarding the symbols to be used and soon a variety of different symbols had developed across Europe, the “Euro” fire exit symbol being a good example.

The situation regarding these symbols now needed to be rectified.

Here in Britain, this lead to the revision of the previous standard and in 2002, BS5499:2002 Graphical Symbols and Signs, was issued.

The need for correct pictograms across Europe was now evident and so the International Standards Organisation were compelled to update their own standards and so, using BS 5499 as a basis, they split ISO 3864 into two parts:

ISO 3864:2002 – covering shape and colours, as before.
ISO 7010:2003 – covering pictograms.

As previously seen in the Eighties, for these changes to have any impact, it would be necessary to write this standard into law, which is the process we are in the middle of now.

Making ISO 7010 into an EN, means that the status of the standard will change from being a recommendation of best practice, to a European Norm, requiring that the contents of the Standard are written, without change, into all EU countries laws.

This means that there will be a legal requirement for the same sign to be used in every country for the same requirement.
It will mean that a fire exit sign in England will be the same as it would be in France, Spain, Germany or anywhere at all within the EU.

ISO 7010 – A Brief History – milestone timeline

Late seventies – large migratory workforce in the EEC
1978 – BS 5499 – Fire Safety Signs, Notices and Graphic Symbols
1992 – EC Directive 92/58/EEC
1996 – “The Health & Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations
2002 – BS 5499:2002 – Graphical Symbols and Signs
2003 – ISO 3864:2002 and ISO 7010:2003ISO 7010, no smoking sign, prohibition safety signs

our new 2011 catalogue is has been completely updated to include the NEW ISO 7010 safety symbols

Safety Signs – How to clean your safety signs

safety signsKeeping Your Safety Signs Clean

Safety signs are placed around shops and businesses, typically warning staff, customers and passersby that there is a hazard or safety issue. The safety signs over time can become dull and dirty from various elements that accumulate on them, this can obscure the valuable workplace safety message but also can make your premises look unkempt. These signs are often made of a hard rigid plastic, vinyl or aluminium, allowing you to easily clean your safety signs with inexpensive ingredients. For added protection and increased longevity ask our sales team about having your safety signs made with “POF” protective overlay film.

Things You’ll Need to clean your safety signs:

  • Bucket
    Water
    Mild soap
    Vinegar
    Cleaning rag
    Nylon brush

Instructions for Cleaning your safety signs

1. Fill a bucket with about 2 litres warm water and 2 tbsp. of a mild detergent such as washing up liquid or laundry detergent. For a disinfectant quality, add an optional 1/2 cup of white vinegar.

2. Dip a soft cleaning rag into the cleaner and wipe it over your safety signs.

3. Very gently swish a nylon scrub brush into the cleaner if needed when heavier residue is present, again wiping over the sign until all grime is removed.

4. Wipe down the sign again with a clean, damp rag and allow to air dry.

For more information on safety signs visit our main website www.stocksigns.co.uk/safety-signs

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Safety Signs as Safety Communication Tools

Construction Safety Signs, Site safetyCommunication with Safety Signs

Safety signs and symbols are important safety communicating tools, they help to indicate various hazards that present in plant site or workplace. At the same time, they warn workers to always keep watching out for those hazards by giving required information and safety instructions.

Safety signs and symbols do not only inform the presence of hazards, but also help create workers’ safety awareness. It is very important in reducing accidents in  the workplace more obviously in maufacturing, heavy industry and on construction sites but also important in office based environments too.

To get the most out of health and safety signs and symbols, you should choose the right ones for each work location on your premises. Each work area needs different workplace health and safety signs and symbols. This is because each work area has different types of hazard. A risk assesment of each activity or designated area will help identify hazards. Appropriate actions for ensuring safety can then be drawn up and selecting the appropriate safety signs can then be selected. Where possible safety signs shown be changed (at least their location) to keep the safety message fresh and to avoid “sign blindness”.

Safety Signs and Symbols Standards

Safety signs and symbols consist of messages, words and pictorial symbol with variety of sizes, shapes and colours. All the shapes and colours are standardised. Each shape has different meaning and each colour reflects specific meaning.

Using standardised health and safety signs and symbols will make them understandable and overcome language barriers and the new ISO 7010 standard is the first step towards a global harmonization of safety symbols. More indepth infomation can be found at Safety Signs, Symbols and Colour Codes – a simple guide

Safety Signs – Shapes

The shapes of workplace health and safety signs are triangles, circles and squares or rectangles.

i. Triangles: indicates caution (potential hazards) or warning (definite hazards), for example toxic gas and electric shock.

ii. Circles: mandatory or recommended actions and are normally used to depict an action you must do, for example wearing eye goggles and safety hard hats.

iii. Squares or rectangles: shows information, i.e. general information and emergency information (first aid, fire fighting).

iv.  A Circle with a 45° diagonal slash across the middle from the upper left to the lower right: points out forbidden or prohibited actions.

Safety Signs – Colours

The colours used in workplace safety signs and symbols are red, yellow, blue and green.Fire Safety Signs

i. Red signs: designates areas for emergency devices like fire fighting equipment, or to emphasise unsafe or forbidden actions.

ii. Yellow: notifies workers to take caution and be alerted of hazards, reducing necessary risks.

iii. Blue: shows a particular action or behavior, for example instruction to wear personal protective equipment.

iv. Green: designates the location of emergency measures or euipment like first aid kits, evacuation routes, fire exits, escape ladders, or assembly point.

Safety Signs – Pocket Guides

Simple pocket guide with at a glance guide to the different colours and symbols used in safety signs make excellent reference material for workplace safety training and can be issued as part of new employee induction training.

Mobile phones and driving – protect your fleet

prohibition health and safety signs, mobile phones and driving

Mobile Phones & Driving

A substantial body of research shows that using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction, and substantially increases the risk of the driver crashing.

Safety Signs and Training for Drivers

Stocksigns offer a range of transport safety signs and driving resources to help protect your staff and fleet. As a working partner of RoSPA we are proud to offer access to RoSPA Fleet Training and consultancy as well as a host of traffic signs.

For more details on Driver Development courses, Advanced Driver Training and Driver Risk Assessment tools such as “Driver Profiler” please call us on 01737764764 for more information.

Prohibition Mobile Phone Safety Signs

The issue of drivers using mobile phones just won’t go away, government and police schemes to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phones has failed to eradicate the problem. We have a range of safety posters and signs to help you look after your staff and fleet including prohibition signs, traffic signs, information and hazard signs. Visit our signs shop or order a catalogue to learn more.

Drivers who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free:

  • Are much less aware of what’s happening on the road around them.
  • Fail to see road signs.
  • Fail to maintain proper lane position and proper speed.
  • Are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front.
  • React more slowly and take longer to brake.
  • Are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic.
  • Feel more stressed and frustrated.

They are also four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and/or other people – RoSPA

 health and safety signs catalogue

 

Safety Signs, Symbols and Colour – a simple guide

The use of symbols and graphical images is a simple safety system used to convey safety messages at a glance. Colours and symbols appropriately used can provide information and warnings of hazards which are essential to safety at work, and in some instances may be independent of language

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers to provide and maintain safety signs where there is significant risk to health and safety that has not been avoided or controlled by other means (e.g. safe systems of work) provided that the use of a sign can help reduce the risk. They also require, where necessary, the use of road traffic signs in workplaces to regulate road traffic. Employers must also ensure that all employees receive appropriate information, instruction and training regarding safety signs.  Although most signs are self-explanatory, some employees (particularly young or new workers) may be unfamiliar with the signs used.

WHAT IS A SAFETY SIGN?

A safety and/or health sign is defined as ‘information or instruction about health and safety at work on a signboard, a colour, an illuminated sign or acoustic signal, a verbal communication or hand signal.’

A signboard is a combination of shape, colour and symbol or pictogram made visible by adequate lighting and which may have supplementary text. See the table below to understand the purpose of different safety signs and their properties:

Colour Meaning or Purpose Instruction & Information Intrinsic Features Example
RED Prohibition/Danger alarm Dangerous behaviour; stop; shutdown; emergency cut-out devices; evacuate Round shape; black pictogram on white background; red edging and diagonal line; red part to be at least 35% of the area of the sign  prohibition safety signs
YELLOW or AMBER Warning Be careful; take precautions; examine Triangular shape; black pictogram on yellow background with black edging; yellow part to be at least 50% of the area of the sign  hazard safety signs
BLUE Mandatory Specific behaviour or action e.g. wear personal protective equipment Round shape; white pictogram on blue background; blue part to be at least 50% of the area of the sign  
GREEN Emergency escape; first aid. No danger Doors; exits; escape routes equipment and facilities Return to normal Rectangular or square shape; white pictogram on green background; green part to be at least 50% of the area of the sign  fire safety signs
RED (fire-fighting signs) Fire fighting equipment Identification & location Rectangular or square shape; white pictogram on red background; red part to be at least 50% of the area of the sign  fire safety signs

 

COMBINATION SIGNS

Under ISO 7010 legislation safety signs can be combined to give multiple messages.

Combination sign

This sign gives a hazard warning (yellow) that the site is dangerous. It gives a prohibition instruction (red) that there must be no unauthorised entry and a mandatory instruction (blue) that a course of action must be taken – visitors report to site office.

These multi message signs are ideal for construction sites or garage forecourts where a combination of messages can be delivered in one place in potentially dangerous environments.

 

BARRIER TAPES

Barrier tape can be used where the marking of dangerous locations is deemed necessary (e.g. highlighting the edge of a raised platform or area or restricted heights). They can be used internally or externally to help alert people of a hazard or danger.

We supply a range of different tapes such as reflective hazard warning tapes, self-adhesive photoluminescent tape, graphic barricade tape and pipeline identification tape. Please call a member of a sales team on 01737 774072 to discuss your tape requirements.

Hazard tapeHazard tape

 

ISO 7010 HAS NOW BEEN IMPLEMENTED

Large elements of the British Standard BS5499 symbols have now been changed. The new symbols based on the international standard ISO 7010 have been introduced. The basic principles of understanding safety symbols have remained the same i.e. colour and shape of out line symbol but some of the icons/symbols have changed.

For more advice contact our sales team on 01737 774072 or send us an email.