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

A safety sign is one which gives a message about health and safety by means of a combination of geometric form, colour and symbol or text or both.

The Regulations implement the EU Directive, which gives minimum requirements for provision of safety signs at work and standardises signs throughout the Member States of the European Union.

They apply to all places of work and activities where people are employed, but do not apply to transport operations or the marking and supply of dangerous goods.

There are 4 kinds of safety sign, which are now in general use, and each is distinguished by colour and shape:

Prohibition -(certain behaviour is prohibited, evacuate, stop)
Warning -(gives warning of a hazard)
Mandatory -(indicates a specific course of action is to be taken)
Safe Condition -(gives information about safe conditions, doors, exits, escape routes)

Safety Colour Warning Purpose Example of Use Contrasting Colour Symbol Colour Description of Sign
RED Stop Prohibition Stop signs Identification and colour of emergency shut down devices White Black Circular red band and cross bar, Red to be at least 35% of sign area
RED Firefighting Showing fire hose, ladder, emergency White White Red rectangle or oblong, Red to be at least 50% of sign area
YELLOW Caution, risk of danger Identification of hazards (fire, explosion, chemical, radiation, etc.) Warning Signs Risk of Collision Black Black Triangle with black band, Yellow to be at least 50% of sign area
BLUE Mandatory action Obligation to wear PPE Mandatory signs White White Circular blue disc, Blue to be at least 50% of sign area
GREEN Safe condition Identification of showers, first aid points, etc. White White Green square or oblong, Green to be atleast 50% of sign area