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Health and Safety Directorate

Safety Signage

Safety Signage Update 

In order to standardise safety signage across Queen Mary and to bring signage in line with The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 we have issued guidance on what we would expect laboratory hazardous signs to depict.

Safety signage needs to be provided if there is a significant risk that can't be avoided or controlled in any other way, such as through safe systems of work or engineering controls.

There is no need to provide safety signs if they don't help reduce the risk or if the risk isn't significant.

This applies to all places and activities where people are employed.

Employers must, where necessary:
• use road traffic signs in workplaces to regulate road traffic
• maintain the safety signs they provide
• explain unfamiliar signs to their employees and tell them what they need to do when they see safety signs

Types of Safety signage

  • Prohibition: (a) round shape; (b) black pictoram on a white background, red edging and diagonal line.
  • Warning: (a) triangular shape; (b) black pictogram on a yellow background with black edging. 
  • Mandatory: (a) round shape; (b) white pictogram on a blue background. 
  • Safe condition: Emergency escape or first aid signs (a) rectangular or square shape; (b) white pictogram on a green background. 
  • Fire fighting: (a) rectangular or square shape; (b) white pictograme on a red background. 


Primary Legislation

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

Key Health & Safety Contacts

For Advice and Assistance at QMUL, contact the H&S Advisor for your Faculty / PS  or the subject lead at

All H&S staff can be contacted via the help desk at


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