Prohibition Safety Signs

Prohibition signs are used to instruct staff and visitors when certain behaviours or actions are not allowed.

ISO 7010 prohibition signs always include a red circle and a red diagonal on a white background with a black standardised pictogram. Well known signs include the no-smoking sign, no photography, not drinking water and no open flame. 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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