Mandatory Blue Safety Signs

Mandatory signs are used to indicate that a particular course of action must be undertaken.

ISO 7010 mandatory signs always include a white circle on a blue
background with a standardised white pictogram. Well known signs include ‘wear eye protection’, ‘wear ear protection’, ‘wear protective gloves’ and ‘wear a mask’. Many more ISO 7010 compliant signs are available and even more signs are still in use that comply with older, non-international norms.

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The importance of ISO 7010

ISO 7010 prescribes safety signs for the purposes of accident prevention, fire protection, health hazard information and emergency evacuation.

The purpose of the ISO 7010 standard is to introduce a globally recognisable range of safety pictograms. Many of these signs will be familiar, as the ISO norm builds on older, country specific norms. Some signs however are new introductions, approved by national standardisation committees in the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).

ISO 7010 is a norm, not a law, and in general, companies are not obliged to adopt ISO 7010 safety signs in workplaces. However, national legislation can refer to the ISO 7010 norm and when it does, ISO 7010 safety signs become mandatory, as is the case in France for example. Because of this, government bodies in several countries already advise companies to use ISO 7010 safety signs, especially when:

  • new facilities need to be equipped with safety signs
  • it is time to replace old, worn or faded safety signs

The 5 categories of ISO 7010 safety signs

5 categories of ISO 7010 compliant signs can be identified based on specific shape and colour combinations. These categories are:

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