Understanding colours and shapes in Safety Signs

In India it is mandatory for business houses and corporate offices to display and maintain safety signs in the workplace when a potential risk that has not be removed or controlled by other methods and ways.

Many of the safety signages we find in India have been standardised, so whenever one may find them there is an understanding of what it indicates. Standardised format of health & safety signages delivers the required information in a silent manner. It works like an universal language that most Indian residents can get information quickly due to the sign’s shape and colour.

There are four colours used in health and safety signages such as red, yellow, blue and green. From this, viewer can easily understand the importance of the sign with colour displayed which in turn empowers their reaction.

Health and Safety Signs & what do they mean:

Red Signs:

Signages in Red are used to draw attention to any kind of dangerous situation in the vicinity or the one which may arise. Prohibitory signs are usually round in shape and feature a thick red edge with a diagonal line through a black and white picture, depicting the prohibited behaviour.

Yellow or Amber Signs:

Universally, a yellow or amber safety sign suggests warning to alert viewers to be careful. Commonly seen when using hazardous chemicals, a warning sign is triangular in shape. Most of the signages must be yellow or amber in colour with a thick black edge and a clear pictogram of the hazard, this is called as hazard sign.

In the work place, employer must ensure that all staff members has a clear understanding of these safety signages displayed within premises even though it is self explanatory.

Blue Signs:

Blue safety signs are called as mandatory signs, to demonstrate a specific behaviour must be performed before proceeding, for example workers need to wear safety glasses while working with chemicals or wearing a hard helmet when entering a construction site.

Mandatory safety signs need to adhere to few regulations and rules such as to be always circular in shape and are made up of over 50% blue background with a white pictogram displaying the instruction.

Green Signs

Green safety signs are used to give information to the reader to emphasise safety, showing exit routes, first aid areas etc. Green signages are rectangular in shape with white image, clearly showing the direction the one needs to move in or the safety facilities provided.

Text message can be added to the images displayed on safety signs to ensure the correct message is delivered to the target audience.

Every employer is responsible to ensure that the most relevant health and safety sign is displayed, unobstructed and well maintained at all times. They have a duty towards their staff members to ensure that they understand what each and every signage mean within their vicinity.

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