When must safety signs be used?

Safety signs must be used whenever a hazard or danger can not be avoided adequately or reduced in another way. Before installing safety signs an employer or facility should examine whether the hazard can be avoided or reduced by collective precautions (precautions that protect everybody) or safer ways of doing the work or enjoying the facility.

Safety signs should not contain text. This is because the symbols or pictograms on a sign are intended to be understood, independently of the language ability of the worker viewing it


Safety signs put in place after 1 November 2007 should not contain text. Text may be included on a supplementary sign provided that it does not adversely affect the effectiveness of the safety sign

The idea here is that the pictogram traverses languages. The picture or symbol alone should cause awareness of danger or instruction.


A supplementary sign with text is used to give clarity to a pictogram sign . A pictogram sign and supplementary sign can be located on one sign. A sign could be a single sheet of metal or plastic of any size required.





The Health and Safety Authority states that employers must provide information to employees on the meaning and requirements of any signs used in the workplace, especially where text on supplementary signs is used.






What colours and shapes should be used on safety signboards?

· Red for prohibition

· Yellow for caution

· Green for positive action

· Blue for mandatory actions

· O Discs for prohibitions and instructions

· Δ Triangles for warnings

· □ Squares and rectangles for emergency and information signs


Prohibition ( You must not) Red in a circle

Warning (Also Caution, Beware) Yellow in a triangle



Positive (safe signs) Green squares or rectangles.



Mandatory. You must do... Blue signs in a circle.

The size of the sign should be determined by how far away it needs to be seen. For example an emergency assembly point sign should be as far away from the building as possible, but in a highly visible place. Our minimum size for this is 400x300mm, It should be at 1.8 Mtrs height or higher if a larger sign is used.


Sometimes very small signs are needed , for example. Keep hands clear of moving machinery.


We can accommodate any size signage requirement and we can help you determine what is best for the safety of your operation.


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