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.

Safety Sign Audit – A safe way to start the year and burn some Christmas Calories too

Well the New Year is here, and it’s time to burn off that extra mince pie, so what better way to do that than by giving your premises a safety once over this week. So here is a timely reminder of why you should give your facilities a safety sign MOT.

Time for a safety signs MOT?

safety sign auditAs the New Year comes upon us our thoughts often turn to personal improvements we intend to make over the coming year, but one much over looked resolution is the implementation of a regular safety sign audit.

Julian Rowlandson, Director at Stocksigns explains: “If you own a car it is most probable that you obtain and MOT and carry out a routine service to keep your vehicle fully functional and compliant. But few companies, despite their legal obligations to do so, regularly revisit their fire and other mandatory signage. How often does one hear of tragedy caused by fire exit routes not being clear and available for use? Often these oversights maybe associated with changes within business operations and a failure to update signs and safe routes of escape to embrace these operational changes.”

Failing to update your signage as your business changes, could lead to extensive fines or have more serious consequences including prison sentences, personal injuries or even loss of life. These simple inexpensive precautions could help protect your business, staff and visitors.

Read the original article in full to learn how to walk your premises and carry our a safety sign audit (you may even burn some calories too)

Summer Safety Signage Audit

Summer Safety Signage Audit

The summer months and the holiday season are the ideal time to carry out a signage audit. Your business premises may be quieter, as staff jet off on their well earned breaks, often leaving car parks and buildings temporarily easier to access. Use this time and the increased access to assess your company signage, making sure signs are present, in good condition and correct to the latest legislation.

Also the summer can be a time when there maybe a need to increase security to your grounds or buildings. Building sites and disused quarries can seem attractive places to play, potentially with tragic consequences, so ensuring your boundary safety signs are all in place becomes critical.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk around your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout.
Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered byincorrect safety signs - no fire alarm
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? This photograph illustrates a common example. The fire alarm call points in this hotel were relocated during a refit. Unfortunately the sign has not been updated and the fire action notice now marks just a redundant blanking plate. On the flip side, you guessed it, the alarm call points were relocated but they missing safety signs - fire alarmhave failed to install the correct fire equipment signage to mark its new location. 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 ISO 7010 versions, the advice is not to mix signage from different legislative standards. Best practice recommends, if changes or additions are needed, updating to the most recent standard.This photo shows a BS 5499 fire exit sign directly mounted next to a sign with symbols from the EEC directive 92/58, which could lead to confusion.mixing safety signs

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged and 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 can be easily read, and cleaned where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.
For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team at sales@stocksigns.co.uk

Help Your Staff to Recycle – hints & tips for recycling in the office

paper recycling3 Ways to Make Recycling Simple.

This next article in our series of posts to support ‘Go Green Week’ takes a look at recycling and advocates the use of recycling signs.

We are all getting used to the mantra “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” but ‘recycling’, the third in the going greener hiearchy, is often the activity that can be done very half heartedly. We are not talking about the large scale collection of scrap metal from manufacturing processes (where generally there is financial benefit hiding behind the ‘green banner’) but the small scale semi-domestic recycling which builds-up within businesses e.g. paper, water, food containers etc. In a company environment people are generally keen to recycle but no one really wants to take responsibility. Particularly in smaller companies the office/kitchen recycling is often left until the mountain of jars and milk bottles becomes unbearable and someone gives in and takes it to the recycling skips, just before the point that ‘Rentokil’ are called in.

The trick is make the whole process simple. There are three essential steps to hassle free recycling in the office.

  1. Create a Rota
  2. Make it simple, provide sorting at source
  3. Provide clear instructions

You are unlikely to get a rush of volunteers to help but a simple rota for emptying the recycling will mean it gets done and everyone will feel they have done their bit. Endless memos nagging staff to comply to your waste management program are likely to breed more resentment than co-operation, so instead opt for simple sorting systems at source and clear recycling signage, which will give instructions and gently remind people of their responsibilities. recycling signsStocksigns has a huge range of energy conservation and recycling signs to help your company on its way to go greener. We would love to hear any tips you have used in your company to promote a greener business jgodden@stocksigns.co.uk

Winter Safety Products, Be Safe in the Big Freeze

icy car park, ice hazardProtect Your Premises With Winter Safety Products.

With the wintry weather set to continue for a few weeks yet, it’s time to take extra safety precautions. The councils do their best to grit and salt our roads, to protect road users as best they can. But what happens at the travellers’ destinations? Many road users are on their way to work and schools, where they encounter private roads, driveways and car parks, all outside the councils jurisdiction. It is here in these close to home places where most accidents occur and quite often these are the same places that do not get the safety treatment they deserve.

Don’t let your premises, car park or pathways add to this winter’s accident statistics.salt grt bin Clear car parks and pathways of ice and snow, and regularly grit with salt to stop them re-freezing. When clearing snow ensure you have the right tools. A Snow pusher is lightweight and has a bi-directional blade making clearing of large areas quick and efficient. Products such as Ice Melt will clear icy patches quickly, with no damagede-icing salt to carpets, floors or plants.

Once staff and visitors are inside your premises the hazard doesn’t stop, floors in receptions, entry points and non carpeted corridors become slippery even with relatively low footfall levels. Make sure these trouble spots are regularly mopped, adequate door matting is available and suitable slip hazard signage used.

Winter Hazard Zones Check List

  • Grit all car parks.
  • Ensure all external paths are cleared and regularly gritted.
  • Areas with high footfall such as entrances and smoking shelters, need extra attention.
  • Hall ways, entrance lobbies and receptions will become wet and slippery, ensure areas are mopped regularly and adequate warning signs used.
  • Check stocks of salt and grit.
  • Install speed limit signage in large car parks and driveways.

How to use your Noticeboards

How to use your Notice boards

wooden noticeboard, display cases

All too often important announcements or vital bits of information are lost or go unnoticed. A Noticeboard can help to improve communication and can become a central focus, or even a meeting place for employees or communities.

Top Uses for Noticeboards

  • To post public messages for people
  • Help build company brand
  • As a Bulletin Board for company updates
  • Advertise upcoming events
  • Promote communication between administration and other staff
  • Announce company results – which can enhance productivity and build staff motivation
  • Create unity and a common purpose between staff members and help team building

Where Should You locate Your Noticeboards?

  • Chose a central and prominent position
  • Having dual or multiple locations work well
  • Create a hierarchy of notice boards i.e. general company info, departmental down to social events and news – this could form part of a well structured internal communications project
  • Look for places where people naturally gather, the photocopier & coffee machine are popular choices

Choosing Your Noticeboards

  • Where is your noticeboard to be displayed? We can provide noticeboards and display cases that are sympathetic to your environment. We can also offer advice on the levels of weather or vandal protection your external notice boards may require.
  • What information are you going to display? Is the information permanent or will it require updating regularly? We offer notice boards with fabric covered pin boards which are also Velcro friendly, magnetic or  for fixed permanent display. Locking notice boards give flexibility and security. These can also be simple tamper proof snap frames / clip poster frames that allow very quick access to update your display.
  • When will the information be viewed? Illumination can be incorporated, extending optimum viewing conditions. Lighting increases the functionality of your sign or noticeboard, not only making viewing easier, but also adding to the aesthetics of your display.
  • Consider LED – LED displays communicate high impact messages which can be easily updated.

How To Be Creative with your Noticeboards

  • Try theming your noticeboards, tie in with seasonal celebrations like Christmas, Halloween or even a company anniversary
  • Run regular competitions through your noticeboards and publish the winners on the boards too
  • Be creative with the display – use colourful borders,  and cut-out letters to add impact. Why not add texture with other objects to create a collage effect? A school supplies company will be able to provide you with a huge range of colourful materials to create a truly unique and creative noticeboard

By spending some time planning your noticeboards you can turn them into a valuable resource. Experiment with the types of information displayed and the way it is presented. Ask for feedback from staff, by asking them what they would like posted on the boards they are more likely to take notice and absorb other company information that you publish.

How to Apply Vinyl Graphics

 

This article is dedicated to the different application methods used for applying/installing self adhesive vinyl signs and window graphics. Many of our safety sign ranges come with a self adhesive vinyl option making

frosted vinyl screen, glass highlighting

them very versatile and easy to install. We also offer a range of frosted vinyl window graphics in both standard and custom-made designs. Glass Highlighting can also help you comply with Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Regulation requires the marking of windows and glass doors to make them conspicuous.

  

  

  How to apply your vinyl signs and graphics

How to apply vinyl graphics

Before applying any self adhesive graphics make sure that the application surface is clean and free from contaminants. To apply your self adhesive graphics, use one of the following methods:

For Small Sizes (up to approximately 20 x 20cm)

1. You will need a squeegee.  ( a small rigid plastic card designed for sign applicating, if you can’t get one, a small professional window cleaning one will do, or even an old credit card)

2. Remove the backing paper from the face material.

3. Position the sticker/sign on the surface and press in place with finger tips.

4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes. Puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.

mobile phones, prohibition, safety signs

For Medium Sizes

1. You will need a squeegee (see above).

2. Remove 3-5cm of the backing paper from one edge of the sticker and fold back.

3. Position the sticker to the surface and press the exposed adhesive area in place with finger tips.

4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes, removing the backing paper little by little with the other hand puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.

Wet application method for large sizes

1. You will need a squeegee (see above), sponge or cloth, water plus a little liquid detergent (i.e. washing up liquid), agitated to produce foam bubbles.

2. Temperature of the application surface and in the workshop should be 15°C or above.frosted glass, room divider, glass highlighting

3. Wet the application surface entirely with foam bubbles.

4. Remove the backing paper, keeping the sticker flat.

5. Apply the sticker to the wet surface and bring into position.

6. Remove any excess foam bubbles from underneath the sticker with a squeegee, using light pressure in overlapping strokes, working from the centre. Dry the sticker with a cloth.

7. Secure the sticker to the surface with a squeegee, using overlapping strokes and firm pressure, paying particular attention to the edges, to ensure a firm bond.

8. When possible, check and re-squeegee firmly after 24 hours.

*note – With this application method ultimate adhesion of the sticker/sign is reached later than with a dry method. The sticker/sign will obtain ultimate adhesion about 24-48 hours after application.

Safety Signs – RoSPA’s Business case for Safety

 Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s Occupational Safety Adviser talks about how, during these times of austerity, now is not the time to cut back, but instead invest in health and safety. Safety Signs can be a key part of this.

Safety Signs

Safety signs are a cost effective way of enhance your safety policy. They can be used to warn of inherent dangers, they can be used to promote safety awareness and used as training aids in safety training. A site survey from Stocksigns can help ensure your premises meet current legislation and best practice.

Viewing Distances For Safety Signs – a Simple Guide

emergency exit signsThe optimum viewing distances for safety signs depends largely on the size of font used, the position and to some degree the font style and colours used.

For escape route signage risk assessments should be carried out where appropriate and reference to BS 5499, Part 4 : 2000 Safety signs, including fire safety signs. Code of practice for escape route signing should be made.

Our Installation guide is for guidance only and your unique premises and building usage should also be taken into consideration. For further advice about viewing distances for safety signs speak to our sales staff on 01737 764764.

Viewing Distances for Safety Signs – A visual Guide

safety signs installation guide

Recommended installation heights:

Above doors:-         2m – 2.5m from floor level to base of sign

Directional wall fixed signs:-      1.4m-1.7m from floor level to base of sign.

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

How Environmental Factors Can Effect the Life of Your Signs

safety signThe environment plays a large part in the impact that a sign will have. The longevity of a sign is affected by many factors. These include:

  • The amount of exposure to the sun
  • The range of temperatures where the sign will be located
  • The surface colour of the sign, red fades the most.
  • The environment where the sign will be installed, an exposed location will reduce the life of your sign, or an area with high levels of traffic will be affected by pollutants.
  • The chemical composition of the films
  • The thickness of the ink coating
  • The amount of UV radiation that the sign will have, i.e. a shaded location will prolong the life of your sign.

Although each of these factors influence how long your sign will last and so the effectiveness of the message, there is little doubt that the most significant factor in sign longevity is UV radiation. A protective overlay film (POF) can be over-laminated protective overlay filmon to any aluminium or rigid plastic sign to give a greater degree of protection to the sign face. It allows:

  • Easier removal of Graffiti
  • Resistance to scuffs
  • UV protection – anti fade
  • Easier to clean
  • Prolongs life of sign

All signage material manufacturers use a worldwide standard rating system to determine the life of material based on application being 90 degrees vertical and facing north. However, one of the most important pieces of advice in positioning your sign is to get it absolutely right. If mount your sign with a slight tilt i.e tilting the sign backwards by as little as 5 degrees and you will reduce the life of the sign by approximately 50 percent.

Whilst UV light is the most important, other environmental factors that affect the life of the sign, which could damage your signs, are dirt, salt, acid rain, general pollution and more. All of these factors can reduce the life span of your signage, and need to be taken in to consideration. Our Safety Signs – How to clean your safety signs guide offer advice on general maintenance and up keep of your signs.  The type of fixing you choose can also effect the life of your sign, our article on Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs  highlights the need for correct fixing methods Vitreous enamel signs. Other guides regarding the installation of general signage are as follows:

How to Install Your Signs – Part 1- Self Adhesive Vinyl Signs

How to install your signs – Part 2 – Choosing the right sign post height

How to install your signs – Part 3 – Installation of standard safety signs and general signage

How to install your signs – Part 4 – Sign Fixings
To ensure that you have a sign that is cost-effective, conveys your message clearly and lasts, then you need to pay attention to detail across every aspect of development.

  • Choose the right material for your sign, based on the conditions that it will be placed in. Our Sales Team would be happy to advise you on the best sign materials for your needs.
  • Make sure that your sign substrate or vinyl is free of any contaminants by washing with a mild detergent first and when dried wiping with a solvent saturated cloth.
  • Position your sign to reduce the affect that the environment will have on it.

Emergency Way Guidance using Photoluminescent Material

Photoluminescent way guidance

This photo was taken in the stairwell here at Stocksigns illustrating the intensity of the luminosity of Hilume.

In situations of emergency evacuation, especially when confronted by power failure, a way guidance system using photoluminescent tapes, signs and markers will help to indicate clearly defined escape routes, saving critical time for the evacuation of the building.

BS 5266-6: 1999, is a Code of Practice for non-electrical low mounted way guidance marking using a photoluminescent system. It recommends how to plan, design, install and maintain the system when used in conjunction with powered emergency lighting. The use of this standard, combines with BS ISO 16069:2004, Graphical symbols-Safety signs – Safety way guidance systems and BS 5499-4: 2000, Code of Practice for escape route signs, gives the answers to most questions that could be asked from those contemplating installing a photoluminescent way guidance system.

The installation of a photolumiescent way guidance system does not replace the use of powered emergency lighting when this is required, but compliments its existence. For a satisfactory performance, photoluminescent materials require initial activation from a good light source.

Fire Extinguisher Identification

Fire Extinguisher identification signsFire Extinguisher Identification to BS EN3 and BS 7863

Under BS EN 3 operative from the 1st January 1997, all new certified fire extinguishers used in European Union countries must feature red bodies. In line with familiar UK practice, BS 7863 allows manufacturers to affix coloured identification panels on or above the operating instructions covering no more than 5% of the body surface area and visible through a horizontal arc of 180 degrees when the extinguisher is mounted.

The new harmonised European standard on fire extinguishers – BS EN3 –  which came into effect in 1st January 1997, provides a single standard for fire extinguishers across Europe. It replaced the old British Standard BS 5423, which has now been withdrawn.

BS EN3 is the standard now used for the specification, manufacturing and purchase of extinguishers in the UK. An additional standard BS 7863 details the revised colour coding system and supplements BS EN3.

BS EN3 is not retrospective and pre-existing extinguishers do not need to be replaced with extinguishers to this new standard. However, any replacements as a result of damagefire extinguisher location panel, wear or un-serviceability or new extinguishers will need to meet this new, later standard.While BSEN3 has now been in place for a number of years Understanding the colours and codes should be part of your regular health and safety training and form part of your new staff induction programme. There are a number of resources such as Fire Extinguisher Colour Guide Code Charts and Fire Extinguisher colour code guide pocket guides that can serve as staff information points and training aids. Fire Extinguisher location panels can aid your routine premises maintenance. As well as providing information on the use of the particular fire extinguisher mounted they also give a visual warning as to when the extinguisher has been used and not replaced.

The New Standard Fire Extinguisher Standard
The main differences between the old and new standards are:

  • A minimum of 95% of the extinguisher body must be red
  • Zones of colour, indicating the contents of the extinguisher, are permitted
  • The markings on the extinguisher must follow a specified layout
  • Pictograms are used indicating the type of fires that the extinguisher is suitable for
  • A minimum body shell thickness is specified
  • Minimum fire performance ratings for the size of the extinguisher are specified
  • Operating temperatures of some extinguishers are increased
  • Some discharge times are increased

Although there are many technical changes and the improvements in the new standard, the most noticeable change is to the colour of the extinguisher bodies.

fire extinguisher identification guide

Fire Extinguisher Colour Guide Code

Fire Extinguisher Colours and Codes

Understanding the colours and codes should be part of your regular health and safety training and form part of your new staff induction programme. There are a number of resources such as Fire Extinguisher Colour Guide Code Charts and Fire Extinguisher colour code guide pocket guides that can serve as staff information points and training aids. In the UK we were used to a system of using the colour of the body of the extinguisher to indicate its contents. However, this system has been peculiarly British with all extinguishers in Europe being coloured completely red.

Since extinguisher colour is no longer used to identify the type of the extinguisher, it falls to the standard pictograms to illustrate the types of fire that extinguisher can be used on. The pictograms are: Fire Extinguisher Types Pictogram

Class A fires involving organic solids; e.g. wood, paper
Class B fires involving flammable liquids
Class C fires involving flammable gases
Class F fires involving cooking oil and fat

A concession was made in this latest standard for a small zone of colour to be available on the body of the extinguisher to further help identify the contents of the extinguisher. A colour zone of up to 5% of the surface area of the extinguisher can be positioned on the top half of the front of the extinguisher body and be visible from 180 degrees. The British Standard BS 7863 outlines the colours that can be used in this way and follows the colour coding that has been used for many years. In addition, there is now a new colour for the Wet Chemical extinguisher (see guide above). The colour codes are:

Red – Water
Cream – Foam
Blue – Powder
Black – Carbon Dioxide
Canary Yellow – Wet Chemical

A further effect of the latest standard is that customised colours (most commonly chromed stainless steel) are no longer allowed; although, as there is no immediate need to change these extinguishers, they (and particularly the stainless extinguishers) may well be in use for some considerable time.

 

Replacement of Extinguishers
Even though pre-existing extinguishers do not need to be replaced, the gradual appearance of the new, latest standard extinguishers alongside older types may cause some confusion. The continued presence of other coloured extinguishers in an area may suggest to some users that the red extinguishers will contain water but this might not be the case, with potentially serious consequences.

Everyone should now what to do in the event of a fire and this includes being able to select the appropriate type of extinguisher to use. To reduce the chances of confusion, mixing new and old standard extinguishers in the same area or building should be avoided.

Note also that the British Standard on servicing BS5306: Part 4 states that all extinguishers installed in any one building or single occupancy should have the same method of operation and, if intended for the same function, should all be similar in shape, appearance and colour.

Summary for Fire Extinguisher Identification

  • Ensure that all new extinguishers obtained comply with BS EN3
  • Ensure that everyone is able to identify the different types of fire extinguisher and their respective use through training & Guides
  • Provide information on the colour standards for fire extinguishers
  • Clearly sign extinguishers and their use with fire safety equipment signs
  • Do not mix extinguishers conforming to the old and new standards
  • Do not mix extinguishers which have different operating methods

Stocksigns has the largest range of fire fighting equipment signs on the market for more information on these and our other safety signs why not order our safety signs catalogue or call our Sales Team on 01737 77 40 72.

Where to use Electrical Emergency Luminaires

emergency door lightingElectrical Emergency Luminaires – Joanna Godden

Emergency lighting is designed to illuminate automatically the emergency escape route (i.e. staircases, landings, passageways etc.) upon failure of the supply to the normal artificial lighting. The emergency lighting must comply with BS 5266: 2005. It is vital that emergency lighting comes on if the normal lighting fails. It needs to be sufficiently bright, illuminated for enough time, and the light sources so positioned that the staff and visitors of a building can be evacuated safely in an emergency

Siting of Luminaires

Luminaires should be sited in the following positions:

  • At each exit door
  • At each intersection of corridors
  • At each change of direction
  • Close to each staircase
  • Close to any change in floor level
  • Close to fire equipment and alarm call point locations
  • At locations that adequately illuminate emergency escape and safety signs

Maintained & Non-maintained Systems.

Non-maintained systems are used in buildings with a limited occupation time, such as offices and shops, and only operate when the power fails. In general, Maintained systems are required for places of entertainment and licensed premises and can be on all the time from normal mains supply, remaining on when the power fails.

electrical emergency luminaires

For more information contact our sales team on Tel 01737 77 40 72 or sales@stocksigns.co.ukelectrical emergency luminaireelectrical emergency luminaire

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.

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  
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  
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  
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  

 

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.

black and yellow hazard barrier 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.