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Do you know what signs your business is required to display?

Every business is government by legislation that requires it to display signage. However, this can sometimes seem like a complex area and you might not be sure where you stand. One look for signage online will show that there is a sometimes-bewildering number of different types of signs available and you could be wondering whether you need to display all of these or not.

Luckily, most business are only required to display a limited number of signs, although it depends on the kind of work you carry out. Here we take a look at the main signs every business needs to display by law.

Different types of signs you are legally required to display

Health and safety

Health and safety legislation in the UK is governed by the Health and Safety Executive. It can be complex, with many aspects of legislation that might apply to your business. However, there are a small number of signs that you are legally required to display by law.

You must display a Health and Safety Law Poster if you employ more than one person. This tells employees what you and they must do in order to remain safe. There is space to add details of company safety representatives and other contacts.

You must also display signs that show where the first aid kits and accident books are held in case of an accident.


Connected to the previous section, but distinct enough to require specific attention, are signs that inform employees of dangers and hazards. These are broadly separated into the following categories:

Prohibitory: these are signs that warn of distinct danger of death or serious injury if the warnings are not followed, and are usually red and white.

Warning: these indicate situations where minor or moderate injuries could result if the warnings are not heeded and are usually yellow and black.

Mandatory: these indicate safety instructions or procedures and give specific instructions that must be followed, usually regarding personal protective clothing, equipment or other direct instruction.

Each of these signs must be displayed following risk assessment on specific areas or tasks where a risk has been identified and which has been minimised but cannot be completely prevented. They should be clear and visible, not blocked. They must also remain lit should the power fail, either by backup emergency lighting or using photoluminescent signs.

Fire safety

Fire safety is a separate area of risk with its own required signage. All commercial businesses must display a Fire Action Notice, ideally one at every fire alarm call-point and at each fire exit door. They give instructions on what to do in the event of a fire.

You must also display signs showing fire routes, doors and assembly points, in green and white signage. Fire-fighting equipment must be clearly marked too, in red and white signage.


You are also required by law to display signs informing employees and members of the public of the use of security measures such as CCTV recording. Other security signage includes information about doors that alarmed, barbed wire, guard dogs and security patrols.

Get the signs you need to remain compliant

At Equip4Work, we carry the full range of signs that you will need to remain compliant with the law. We stock all of the signs outlined above, as well as many more that have specific industry use or for particular hazards.

Check out our full range here and talk to our Sales Advice Team if you need any help with choosing the right signs to ensure you meet your legislative requirements.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 11:08 am