Health and safety

Signs warning workers of hazards

The employer shall ensure there are visible and understandable warning and information signs, as well as prohibition, order and safety signs, in areas identified during the risk analysis as critical points where the identified risks cannot be eliminated by collective protection measures or other means used in the organisation of work.

The following are placed in critical areas:

  • warning signs drawing attention to sources and types of danger – yellow triangle with perimeter and drawing in black,
  • Information signs indicating the location of places and objects of safety and rescue importance – green square with white drawing,
  • prohibition signs, prohibiting behaviour that poses a risk of accidents or dangerous situations – a white circle with a black outline and a perimeter and cross out in red,
  • injunction signs – which oblige people to behave in a way that reduces the risk of accidents and dangerous situations occurring, or to protect themselves from harmful, noxious and dangerous factors – a blue circle with a white outline.

All the above signs are standardised in accordance with PN-N-01256/03:1993.

These are complemented by safety signs in the area of:

  • evacuation and fire protection (EN ISO 7010:2012),
  • technical fire-fighting measures (PN-N-01256/04:1997).

The meaning of the signs and their location should be the subject of health and safety training for employees.

Places where there is a risk of falling or colliding with obstacles (e.g. slippery surfaces, stairs, thresholds, low lintels) should be permanently marked with a safety colour. The edges of transport routes (e.g. forklifts in warehouses, packing rooms, storage areas) should be permanently marked in white or yellow.

The following colours are recommended:

  • red – hazardous situation, abnormal condition, failures,
  • yellow – abnormal condition, warning of an impending emergency,
  • green – normal state, safe state,
  • blue – a condition where action by the operator is required.

Green is the colour for safety. It is used to mark safety switches or escape routes. Red is used to mark fire-fighting equipment and prohibitions (diagonal red and white stripes, at an angle of 45º, mark the boundary of the prohibited area). Yellow is used to warn of danger and is often used to mark guards covering rotating parts. The diagonal yellow-black stripes, at an angle of 45º, indicate a warning of danger and are used to mark stairs, thresholds, lintels or protrusions.