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Library: Legislation: Safety Signs & Signals Regulations



   GB, UK & European :
   ADR and CDG
   Safety Sign Reg’s
   PER and PED
   PSSR
   Old Legislation

England & Wales :
   Fire Safety Order
   Health Act
   RRFSO

Scotland :
   Fire Safety Reg’s
   Fire (Scotland) Act
   Smoking Act

Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996

(implementing the EEC Safety Signs Directive (Council Directive 92/58/EEC (OJ No. 245, 26.8.92, p. 23))

The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996  (“the Regulations”) came into force on 1st April 19961.

This document aims to highlight some of the key parts of the Regulations as they apply to fire-safety signage and is broken down into the following sections:

Throughout, references to the pertinent legislation have been included as footnotes. The reader is referred to the full text of the Regulations (available here from the Government’s Official UK legislation site) for full details.

Legislative Background

The Regulations bring into force the EEC Safety Signs Directive (Council Directive 92/58/EEC (OJ No. 245, 26.8.92, p. 23)) on the provision and use of safety signs at work. The purpose of the Directive is to encourage the standardisation of safety signs throughout the member states of the European Union so that safety signs, wherever they are seen throughout the European Union, have the same meaning.

The Regulations were made in Great Britain under powers granted to the Secretary of State under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Application

Broadly speaking, the Regulations apply to all employers and places of work in Great Britain2.

Provision and Maintenance of Fire-Safety Signage

The Regulations require that permanent signs are provided and maintained for location and identification of emergency escape routes3 and fire-fighting equipment4.

These signs must feature the current symbols5 (e.g. running-man icon, fire-extinguisher-and-flames icon, etc.). Older types are not compliant and must be replaced.

Schedule 1 details the specific requirements for such signage in considerable detail. The reader is referred there for more complete information.

Information, Instruction & Training

The Regulations also require6 every employer to ensure that:

  • comprehensible and relevant information on the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs is provided to each of his employees.
  • each of his employees receives suitable and sufficient instruction and training in the meaning of safety signs and the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs.

Offences

A breach of the Regulations is an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 19747. Offences under this act carry penalties extending up to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years and/or an unlimited fine7.

Timescale

The Regulations have been law since the 1st April 19961 and therefore a failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulations is a breach of the law.

Further Information

The reader is referred to our guidance sheet on ensuring compliance with these regulations, as they apply to fire-safety signage. Additionally, more information on this subject can be found from the Government’s Health & Safety Executive in their section on the regulations.

Click here for the full text of the legislation, available from the Government’s Official UK legislation site.

Should you wish for any further information under this subject, please feel free to contact us.
 

Footnotes & References

  1. Section 1 of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
  2. Section 3 of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
  3. Section 4, Paragraphs (3) & (4)(a) and Schedule 1, Part I, paragraph 2.1.1 of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
  4. Section 4, Paragraphs (3) & (4)(a); Schedule 1, Part I, paragraph 2.1.1 & Part IV of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996. Note that the Regulations additionally provide that a ‘safety Colour’ of sufficient size compliant with the Regulations’ requirements may be used as an alternative.
  5. Section 4, Paragraphs (3) & (4)(a) and Schedule 1, Part II, paragraphs 3.4 & 3.5 of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
  6. Section 5 of The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
  7. Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.






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