(Toolbox Talk) Know Your Safety Signs

Table of Contents
Know your safety signs


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase staff awareness of the main types of safety signs found at work.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

Safety signage awareness

There are 4 main types of safety signage that you need to be able to recognise in the workplace:

  1. Prohibition
  2. Mandatory
  3. Warning
  4. Safe condition


Know your safety signs - Prohibition
Prohibition signs display behaviours that are prohibited as they are likely to increase or cause danger (e.g. ‘no access for unauthorised persons’).

Examples of prohibition signage

Examples of prohibition signage


Know your safety signs - Mandatory

Mandatory signs prescribing specific behaviours that must be followed (e.g. ‘eye protection must be worn’).

Examples of mandatory signage

Examples of mandatory signage


Know your safety signs - Warning

Warning signs give warning of a hazard or danger (e.g. ‘danger: electricity’).

Examples of warning signage

Examples of warning signage

Safe condition

Know your safety signs - Safe condition

Safe condition signs, such as emergency escape or first-aid
signs, give information on safe routes, emergency exits, first aid, or rescue facilities (e.g. ‘emergency exit / escape route’).

Examples of safe condition signage

Examples of safe condition signage