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Health and Safety Executive

Myth: Every possible risk needs a safety sign

December 2007

Woman slipping over a "Watch your step" sign surrounded by 'safety' signs covering all available surfaces warning of potential "dangers"

The reality

Using too many signs just guarantees no one will read any of them.

Safety signs are useful when there’s a significant risk which can't be avoided or controlled in any other way. But that doesn't mean you should add a sign for every possible risk, however trivial.

Where there are serious risks in your workplace, don’t just rely on signs - take practical steps to deal with them. If you do need a sign, make sure it has the right symbol and is clearly visible.

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Updated 01.12.09