Legal Article - Health & Safety

The Use of Safety Signs in the Workplace

Permanent signboards must be used for signs relating to prohibitions, warnings and mandatory requirements, and for locating and identifying emergency escape routes and first-aid facilities.

Places where there is a risk of collision with obstacles or falling objects must be permanently marked with a safety colour and/or signboard.

Permanent signboards are not expected to be used where the worksite is temporary, although safety signs should still be displayed. For example, signs warning of slippery floors may be needed during cleaning.

Signboards should be removed when the risk to which they refer ceases to exist.

Containers and pipe-work regularly used at work to hold dangerous substances or preparations must be labelled in the vicinity of the most dangerous points, such as valves and joints, and at reasonable intervals.

Areas, rooms and enclosures where significant quantities of dangerous goods or substances are stored must be identified by warning signs.

Places where there is a risk of colliding with obstacles, or of falling objects, should be marked with alternating yellow and black or red and white stripes. Where traffic routes need to be shown to protect workers they should be clearly marked by continuous stripes in a clearly visible colour.
Fire-fighting equipment and storage areas must be marked in red and the appropriate signboards used.

Published: 23 Mar 2011

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