Why health and safety signage is important to construction

Published:  09 February, 2017

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there were 144 UK workers killed at work between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. 43 of the 144 fatal injuries took place within the construction industry alone.

HSE statistics also showed that there were 1.3m people suffering from a work-related illness, over 621,000 work-related injuries and 2,515 people who died from mesothelioma due to past asbestos exposure.

Danny Adamson, managing director of Stocksigns Group, said: “Accidents are unpredictable, however there is a lot that can be done to prevent accidents happening in the first place. One of the key ways of keeping people safe in any environment is using the correct signage.

“In the past 20 years, there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal work-related injuries. In 1992 the safety signs directive was adopted by all European Union member states. In 1996 the changes were implemented through the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) Act. This required employers to provide specific safety signs whenever there is a risk that has not been avoided or controlled by other means.”

The introduction of Safety Signs and Signals Regulations protects workers and members of the public. In 1996 there were 0.9 fatal injuries per every 100,000 workers; today the figure is 0.4.

Mr Adamson says there is a correlation between the introduction of safety signage and a reduction in the number of accidents, and claims the first step of ensuring safety to everyone is being able to alert them to danger and having compliant signage in place.

Enforced by the HSE, if non-compliant signage is being used it could lead to extensive fines or serious consequences including prison sentences, personal injuries or even loss of life.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight

We have vacancies all over the UK for those who work within the Building Supplies sector.