In the UK, no matter your business’s sector or style, it is a legal responsibility under The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 to display relevant safety information for the benefit of your employees and customers.
Over the years, the signs we see have become increasingly common, allowing the majority of eyes that are cast over them to understand their meaning at a glance. You could say that UK safety signage is a universal language shared by many within the United Kingdom!
However, with health and safety regulations ever improving, and new eyes continuously entering workplaces nationwide, we have created a guide into UK safety signs, their colours and what they mean.
The categories of UK safety signs
There are four main categories that safety signs are split into, and these are displayed clearly with the use of different colours. These colours help to distinguish the level of importance of the information upon the sign, influencing an appropriate response. These colours are red, yellow, blue, and green.
Most typically, red signage is used to display prohibited actions, and the blood colour is used to ensure that the signage is seen by all. They will usually be round signs featuring a diagonal line through them, crossing through the action which is outlawed. Common examples of these include signs which instruct ‘No entry’, ‘No mobile phones’ or ‘No smoking’.
Yellow safety signage in the UK is used to display a warning or hazard in an effort for all to take appropriate precautions in the specific and surrounding areas. For these yellow signs to effectively catch the eye of all approaching the area, there is a rule that at least 50% of the warning signs are coloured yellow. Typically, the signs will feature a yellow triangle with a black outline, and an image in the centre of the shape displaying a warning of a certain type. Common examples of these signs include ‘Mind the step’, ‘Danger, high voltage’ and ‘Caution, slippery surface’.
Blue safety signs in the UK are used to display a mandatory action which must be taken. They will most often appear as a circular sign with at least 50% of the background displayed as blue, and a white diagram displaying the required instruction. Common examples of these signs include ‘Fire door, keep shut’, ‘Safety goggles must be worn’ and ‘Wear safety belts at all times’.
Green safety signage is most predominantly used in the UK to highlight safety precautions. They will typically be rectangular in shape and displaying a white image in the centre, demonstrating the action required. Common examples of these signs include ‘Mind your head’, ‘Exit’ or ‘First aid’.
If you are seeking advice for the safety signage within your business, get in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable team at Sign Makers UK. Call us on 0800 772 3977 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org today.