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16th March, 2018

The 5 Health And Safety Signs And Their Meanings

Health and safety signs are everywhere. At work, in public buildings, we see them daily. There are 5 health and safety signs, and they all mean different things.

The 5 types of health and safety signs are:

  • Prohibition Signs
  • Mandatory Signs
  • Warning Signs
  • Safe Condition Signs
  • Fire Equipment Signs

But how do you know which type of sign is which, and what they mean?

Well, they send their message through shape and colour. Once you know what you are looking for, you can quickly understand the exact meaning of the sign (even without reading the words).

Here are the 5 health and safety signs and their meanings.

Prohibition Signs

Prohibitions signs are there to tell you not to do something.

These signs have a red circle with a red diagonal line through it. The pictogram is black on a white background.

prohibition safety sign

Colour: Red

Shape: Circle

Meaning: Do not, Never, Stop, No

Mandatory Signs

Mandatory signs are there to tell you to do something.

These signs are round in shape. The pictogram is white on a blue background. The circle usually has a white border.

mandatory safety sign

Colour: Blue

Shape: Circle

Meaning: Do this, You must, Obey

Warning Signs

Warning signs are there to warn you of dangers.

These signs are triangular in shape. The pictogram is black on a yellow background, the triangle has a black border.

warning safety sign

Colour: Yellow

Shape: Triangle

Meaning: Warning, Be careful, Be aware

Safe Condition Signs

Safe condition signs can usually be followed to safety.

These signs are rectangular or square in share. The pictogram is white on a green background, and will often have a white border.

safe condition sign

Colour: Green

Shape: Rectangle

Meaning: Follow, This way, Escape route, First aid

Fire Equipment Signs

Fire equipment/fighting signs show you where fire equipment is.

These signs are square or rectangular in shape. The pictogram is white on a red background, and will often have a white border.

fire equipment sign

Colour: Red

Shape: Square

Meaning: Here is the fire equipment, Fire extinguishers, Fire alarm

Now you should know what a health and safety sign means when you see one. Download the free safety signs toolbox talk as a reminder.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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