Health & safety signs

Why do bees have yellow and black stripes, why are toadstools red, and why are some poison-arrow frogs blue? Because they're dangerous. Warning colours catch the eye immediately: red in combination with white, and orange and yellow in combination with black, are the generally recognised colours for safety symbols and signs with the European conventions.


ASR A1.3 and EN ISO 7010 mandate them, and good sense alone means you won't want to do without them: safety symbols and signs. The occupational health and safety regulations and standards are nonetheless important because they provide a standardised system of safety signs which, thanks to the standard, apply all across Europe. This ensures that health protection and safety signs are understood immediately at each and every one of your company's workplaces. Means of protection and of help are easy to locate due to the signs, while work equipment, danger zones and traffic routes are used and entered with caution when warning signs and mandatory signs are used. Which safety signs do you need at your company?


Put your hand on your heart: do you know all the safety signs that exist? Fortunately, you don't have to, because they are clearly classified into categories and topic areas. Depending on which area you required safety symbols for, there'll be a range of suitable signs.

1. Category E: Emergency signs

The green signs are square in shape, the symbol and lettering on them are signal white. This ensures you'll quickly find your first aid facilities, emergency exits and escape routes. The emergency signs must emit light when it is dark, which is why they are permanently illuminated when operations are running normally. If the general lighting system fails, then they're already charged and can emit fluorescent light of their own accord.

2. Category P: Prohibition signs

This is when you see red – signal red. Anything that can't be done or used is generally crossed out with an unmissable strikethrough.

3. Category W: Warning signs

In workshops, on walls, and on machinery: Triangular warning signs use black pictograms to highlight potential hazards and attract attention with a bright signal yellow. They make people pay more attention to their surroundings.

4. Category M: Mandatory signs

Round mandatory signs prevent workplace accidents. The use of occupational safety products is clearly regulated by the blue signs: white pictograms show the rules of conduct you are expected to follow.

5. Category F: Fire protection signs

White pictograms on a red background: When a fire breaks out, the square shaped fire protection signs show you where you'll find the nearest fire alarms, fire escape ladders and fire extinguishers. To ensure they remain visible even when the lighting system has stopped working, these signs are also made to glow in the dark.

At close range

Incidentally: When affixing your safety symbols, you must ensure that they are not too far away from the people who need to see them. This is especially true of signs showing escape routes. Our purchasing guide shows you which recognition range you need to adhere to when planning your safety signs. Should you have any other questions about this, then simply contact us.

One more thing:

Self adhesive signs are a great option for surfaces that have been cleaned and complement the remaining safety signs well. This does, however, also mean that the surfaces of wallpaper, cupboards and wall shelf units must be free of any grease residue and dirt before applying any self-adhesive film to them.

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