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Warning Signs

Perhaps the single most important priority when you’re trying to make your workplace safer is to let people know about the potential risks. Warning signs play a vital role in this. Although you can repeat verbal instructions over and over again, some people will inevitably forget them, but bright yellow hazard signs are hard to miss and they constitute a far more effective way of getting people to take the necessary precautions.

Incorporating the familiar triangle shape associated with danger, these dramatic safety signs use simple illustrations to indicate the type of hazards they refer to. They also have high contrast, easy to read lettering. In some cases they should be accompanied by other signs providing more specific detail about the hazard or explaining what personal protective equipment should be used to stay safe, but in many situations the presence of warning signs on their own is sufficient to get people to take care and to bring your workplace into line with safety regulations.

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safety warning signs

Warning signs have temporary and permanent uses, and as such they are generally designed to be easily transportable and easy to attach and detach from fixings. They can be used on construction sites, roadworks and similar, as well as on your organisation’s premises. Those designed to be used outdoors are weatherproof, but you should still look after them if you want them to last as long as possible. You can wipe them clean using ordinary soap and water if they become obscured by dirt.

Remember that if signs are to be useful after dark they will need to be adequately illuminated. If nobody can see it simply having the sign does not mean your workplace meets regulatory requirements. Be wary of placing signs on doors where they can become invisible if the door is propped open.

Buyers’ guide

Warning signs need to be accurate to be useful so you should aim to select ones that draw attention to the specific risks you’ve identified as precisely as possible. In some cases you may need to purchase more than one of a particular type of sign in order to cover all possible approaches to the hazard as well as signposting the hazard itself.

When choosing signs it’s important to think about mobile as well as fixed hazards. For instance, Mind Your Head signs are not just for low ceilings and doorways but also for places where the arms of cranes or other machinery may move across at a low elevation. Remember that even if you can move underneath something with a few inches’ clearance, taller people may have a problem with it.

Just as you will need to choose weatherproof signs for outdoor use, you will have to make sure that those you intend to use indoors are compliant with fire safety standards. This is one reason why it’s important to use professional quality signs rather than making your own, because the last thing you will want to do is compromise your fire safety precautions.


What type of hazards need to be signposted?

Anything that can cause significant injury should be highlighted by warning sides. You don’t need to put a sign on the stationery cupboard warning people about paper cuts but you do need to signpost things like trip hazards because, even if these seem trivial, they can lead to serious strains, sprains and broken bones.

Construction workers know their work is risky so why do construction sites need to be signposted?

Construction workers and others in similar fields accept a certain amount of work as part of the job. Where they face specific risks that might not be present in every job, however, they need to be alerted to them by warning signs.