The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 requires 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 usually used in this manner.
Where signs are used, the regulations require the employer to provide and maintain the signage and for the signage to follow a set standard as to colour and shape. Fire safety signs must be provided to a specific standard and be maintained where necessary to comply with fire safety legislation
The colour and the shape of the sign indicate a particular message relating to health and safety.
A red sign or signal indicates something you should not do such as no smoking;
The colour red is also used for fire signs such as the location of fire extinguishers.
Yellow signs indicate danger such as high voltage.
A blue sign requires you to do something and is mandatory, such as wear eye protection.
A green colour indicates something that is there for your safety such as location of a first aid box
Hazardous substances have special labels with an indication of danger. Safety instructions must be followed.