Basic HSE information about Health & Safety signs and set of tools to be used at work.

Health & Safety signs

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  1. Know the meaning of all the health and safety signs – ask your company for further details about this.
  2. Familiarise yourself with any location-specific signage.
  3. Discuss the hazards of any particular products you are working with.
  4. Respect barriers and cordons.
  5. Report damaged or missing signage.


Clear health and safety signs play an essential role in safety during work and in the health of the workforce. That is why everyone must be familiar with the meaning of the health and safety signs and follow the rules.

There are many different health and safety signs:

Circular signs with white pictograms indicate that wearing a specified type of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is mandatory.
Triangular, yellow signs with black pictograms indicate that there is a specific hazard nearby and caution should be taken/you should not proceed.

Red circular signs with a diagonal line through them and black pictograms indicate that specific actions are prohibited.

Square, or rectangular, green signs with white pictograms indicate emergency procedures or an emergency location.

Ask your company about additional health and safety signs relevant to your workplace and their meaning.


Workplaces have varying obvious and hidden hazards:

  • risk of fire and explosion
  • toxic substances
  • excessive noise
  • the presence of radiation
  • moving parts
  • falling objects
  • vehicles and traffic
  • cutting hazard
  • fall hazard

Health and safety signs help to communicate vital instructions to the workforce in an easy-to-understand way and they should be placed where they have full visibility.


Health and safety signs play a key role in many aspects of health and safety. Signage notifies the workforce of tripping hazards, toxic substances, PPE requirements and many other important warnings. Health and safety signs must be noticeable and easy to read.


Health and safety signs are classified into four categories in accordance with the severity of the hazard:

  • danger
  • warning
  • caution
  • notice

Each category has a unique color and style. Ask your company for more specific detail relating to their classifications.

  • danger signs must be placed where a hazard poses an immediate danger and special precautions must be taken
  • warning signs must be posted to warn of potential hazards; they may also be used to caution against unsafe practices
  • caution signs are a type of hazard sign used to warn about possible hazards or unsafe practice; they indicate a level of severity less serious than warning signs or danger signs
  • a notice sign is used to offer simple, important messages to help protect equipment
  • safety instruction signs should be used wherever general instructions and safety suggestions can help workers perform their tasks in a safer manner
  • mandatory safety signs are used to show actions or behaviours that are to be implemented within a workplace to comply with relevant health and safety regulations. Consider them the ‘must do’ of safety signs


Report damaged or missing signage to your HSE Manager.

Start your daily work with safety!

Onscreen presentation is very useful to use during work preparation or toolbox meetings. It provides short and concrete information. Five questions and answers at the end of presentation can be used to make the meeting more interactive and to give conversation a boost.

Be always prepared for the work!

It is of utmost importance to be well prepared before you start the work.
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