If you work on a construction site, then you’ll need to be familiar with all the different types of safety signage. Construction Health and Safety signs carry colourful designs, displaying clear messages that safeguard both you and other workers on site. 

Aside from their obvious importance in communicating safety warnings to workers, displaying construction site Health and Safety signs is a legal requirement. 

With so many signs, shapes, colours and meanings to absorb, it can be a little overwhelming to remember each and every one. So, we’ve highlighted the five most common construction safety signs, providing a handy reference point with all the info you need about construction safety signage.

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Why construction safety signs are important

Safety signs mean information and without it, well that would create chaos, particularly on a busy construction site! They communicate helpful information that benefits everybody. Construction sites contain lots of hazards to warn of any lurking danger to workers, visitors and contractors. 

Employers and employees should have a good understanding of the different types of safety signage. Reducing risk means increasing safety, resulting in an aligned workforce.

A sign fastened to a gate outside a derelict building warning of the presence of asbestos.

What are the five different types of construction Health and Safety signs?

Although there are hundreds of different signs that can be found across a site, there are five different categories of construction Health and Safety signs:  

  • Warning 
  • Mandatory 
  • Prohibition 
  • Safe condition 
  • Fire equipment 

Each of these five safety sign types has a distinctive look, with shapes and colours that make it easier to identify and understand their meaning. Let’s explore these in a little more detail…

Site warning signs

Warning signs

A warning sign is self-explanatory, as it warns against dangers across a construction site. The design of a warning site is a yellow triangle with a black border. Equally, the imagery used on the sign should only contain black symbols against a yellow background. Yellow is a vibrant colour that stands out and striking to the human eye. This is extremely useful for warning signs, as it offers a clear indication that a hazard is present. 

Different types of warning signs

Warning signs on construction sites come in many forms. Examples of scenarios that warning signs are used are:  

  • To warn of dangerous areas
  • Where asbestos is located
  • Areas with high-voltage electricity
  • Wet floor signs
  • Warning of overhead work being carried out
  • Highly flammable gases 
  • If a roof is fragile
  • Any buildings under construction

Mandatory signs

Construction sites often contain various types of mandatory signs, meaning you and your employees must obey any message displayed on these types of safety signs. Design-wise, they appear as a blue circle with white text displaying the instruction that needs to be adhered to. 

Different types of mandatory signs

There are many different types of signs classified as mandatory, so we’ve narrowed our inclusions down to the most common signs you’re likely to find on a construction site: 

  • Keep this area clear
  • Eye protection must be worn
  • Hard hats must be worn
  • Wear gloves
  • Safety harness must be worn 
  • Approved personal protective equipment must be worn at all times
  • Fire door keep shut 
  • Keep site entrance clear

Prohibition signs

Any area that contains a prohibited sign is an indication to avoid entry or access to certain areas. On construction sites, they’re usually located at the front of the site entrance, to tell anyone trying to gain access that entry must be authorised. Prohibition signs are red with a red line across the symbol, signalling danger and warning anybody not to proceed further. The red part of the sign must take up at least 35% of the pictogram, in line with HSE guidelines. 

Different types of prohibition signs

Below are the most common types of prohibited signs found across construction sites: 

  • Stop
  • No parking
  • No smoking
  • No entry 
  • No access for pedestrians
  • No access for unauthorised persons

Safe condition signs

Important for highlighting safety protocols, safe condition signs will always be green in colour. Rather than warning of hazards, they offer information that guides workers towards a safe space or piece of equipment. This will often depend on the type of situation that occurs on-site. All text and images must be white, and the shape of the sign is rectangular. 

Different types of safe condition signs

You’ll find a safe condition sign pointing out the following places or items: 

  • First aid kit 
  • Fire exit
  • Fire assembly point 
  • Spillage kit
  • Emergency shower

Fire equipment signs

Knowing where to locate fire equipment is essential for everybody on site. It is also a legal requirement for all workers to know exactly what to do in the event of a fire under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Without adequate construction safety signage that communicates fire safety protocols, the safety of everybody on-site could be threatened. It can also be extremely costly to your business too. 

Fire safety signage will always be square and bright red, offering a distinction between other warning signs. Symbols and text on the signs will always be in white. 

Different types of fire equipment signs

Fire equipment signs offer direction towards these important items on a construction site: 

  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire alarms
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire blankets

Learn more about construction site safety with our training courses

Developing your skills and knowledge to work on a construction site is the key to unlocking new career pathways. If you’re a supervisor looking to make the leap to a managerial role, or a site worker who has intentions of being a supervisor, then have you considered a dedicated online training course? 

We offer a range of CITB-approved training courses to help you upskill and make the move to the next level. Take a look at the different types of courses we offer below. 

Our courses can be done online, at your own pace, and they’re delivered by a CITB-qualified instructor.

We also offer SSIP packages for contractors and businesses, offering you quick and easy accreditation. You’ll be able to demonstrate your Health and Safety commitments to clients and customers and also benefit from access to our team of in-house experts. 

If you want to request a quote about any of our services, then why not give us a call at 01752 697370? Our team will be happy to offer any advice and further information on your purchase.