Hazard signs are crucial for a wide range of businesses as they not only help maintain the safety of employees and visitors, but ensure compliance with UK regulations. However, hazard signs consist of three sub-categories: caution, danger and warning. While these signs look similar, they have different meanings which you must understand to ensure you’re using the signs correctly for your business. Here, we explain the differences between caution, danger and warning signs, while offering some examples of how they might be used.
Warning signs are used to highlight risks which could result in serious injury or death, making them extremely important for your business. They are displayed by a black triangle with yellow colouring and are often accompanied by a yellow panel with additional information. This type of hazard sign is essential in areas where potentially life-threatening or injury-causing risks are present - and cannot be removed via a risk assessment.
For example, a construction site with falling debris would require a Warning Falling Objects sign to inform visitors and employees as to the risk. This type of sign is often accompanied by a mandatory action sign, which uses blue and white colours to display actions which must be taken to ensure safety. For example, the Warning Falling Objects sign may be used alongside a Keep Clear sign to instruct workers that the area is unsafe and must be kept clear.
Danger signs depict risks that will result in death, meaning the hazards highlighted are significant, often including high-voltage electric shocks, unstable structures and much more. Similarly to the above, these signs also use a black triangle and text with yellow colouring to effectively draw attention and inform visitors and workers as to potentially fatal risks.
For example, a Danger Fragile Roof sign should be used on construction and building sites where there is a precarious roofing structure which requires work to repair. This is to ensure workers are mindful of the risk and use the appropriate equipment provided, such as harnesses or temporary, secure structures to navigate the area more safely.
Caution signs are used to outline risks that could cause injury but are unlikely to result in death. While they highlight the least severe risks in terms of their likely outcome, they are just as important as warning and danger signs in preventing the injury of workers and visitors. Caution signs also use a black triangle and text with yellow colouring and are sometimes accompanied by a yellow panel, containing additional information about the relevant risk.
You would be required to use a caution sign where there are hazards that could cause injury. For example, a Caution Mind Your Head sign should be used to highlight any low-hanging objects or structures that could cause injury if someone was to walk into them. This helps avoid injuries and ensure compliance with UK regulations in the unfortunate event that a worker or visitor was to accidentally walk into the object.
We understand that your busy business is determined to produce the best results for clients while ensuring the safety of all those on its site or premise. That’s why UK Safety Store exists; we help you navigate UK safety regulations with leading resources and compliant products to help keep your business and its workers safe. To learn more about warning, caution and danger signs, discover our dedicated hazard safety resource hub.
Darren Taylor, managing director of UK Safety Store
With over 30 years' experience in the manufacturing and regulations of safety signs, our managing director Darren prides himself on providing the very best services and insights for all UK Safety Store customers.