The term “safety sign” is relatively broad and basically means a sign that covers a specific situation, object or activity and gives information or instructions on health and safety.

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 (in Northern Ireland, the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996) only require employers to use safety signs if they have taken all other appropriate safety measures but the risks cannot be adequately reduced without them. However, safety signs can also be useful as additional control measures and are widely used in this manner. Also, global businesses will sometimes use a common standard of safety signage across their sites.

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