SAFed Health and Safety Passport Scheme
Module 12 — Safety signs
forms one of a series of modules on various health and safety subjects that
comprise the examinable material considered necessary for the award of the
SAFed Health and Safety Passport.
When you have
studied this module you should have acquired sufficient knowledge to be able
to answer the questions detailed at the end of the module. Upon satisfactory completion of all modules, you will be
eligible to undertake the final assessment for the award of the SAFed Health
and Safety Passport.
Health and Safety Passport is issued to Engineer Surveyors by the Health and
Safety Manager of their employing company upon satisfactory completion of the
Safety Passport final assessment.
The award of
the SAFed Health and Safety Passport provides evidence that the holder of the
Passport has the appropriate knowledge and awareness in health and safety
matters considered necessary for an Engineer Surveyor to undertake the duties
for which they are authorised by their employing company.
The passport is valid for a maximum of three years.
Having read this module you
should be aware of:
The purpose of having safety signs at
work and the ability to recognise the different types of safety signs that can
appear in the workplace.
The health and safety laws,
which cover this module, are:
The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and
Signals) Regulations 1996
Chemical (Hazard Information and
Packaging For Supply) Regulations 2002
(The bulk of the signboards are the same as those in BS5378 Safety Signs and colours)
Engineer Surveyors must be aware
before entering any workplace of the dangers inherent on that site, this is
the duty of the owner of the site under Health and Safety at Work etc. Act
1974. This duty is normally
satisfied by giving an induction to the site by either video presentation or
walking round the site in the company of a “chaperone”.
Only when they are confident that they are aware of the hazards on the
site should they be allowed to work alone.
Safety Signs are a means of
communicating a wide range of health and safety information to people at work
and are to be found in all places, they are not a substitute for the other
methods of controlling risks such as engineering controls and safe systems of
The main aim of safety signs is
to provide a message which, is readily understood. As a result there are standard colours and images, known as
pictograms, which are understood internationally. The addition of the text to the pictogram makes the message
Under the regulations, the signs
Be maintained and kept clean.
Be explained to employees
Be durable and securely fixed
The different types of signs are
The Health and Safety (Safety
Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 bring into force the EC Safety Signs
Directive (92/58/EEC) 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, have the
The regulations cover various
means of communicating health and safety information including the use of
signs, hand and acoustic signals (e.g. fire alarms), spoken communications and
the marking of pipe-work containing dangerous substances.
The regulations apply to all
places and activities where people are employed, but exclude signs and labels
used in connection with the supply of substances, products and equipment or
the transport of dangerous goods.
The regulations require
employers to provide specific safety signs whenever there is a risk that has
not been avoided or controlled by other means (e.g. by engineering controls
and safe systems of work). Where
a safety sign would not help to reduce that risk, or where the risk is not
significant, there is no need to provide a sign.
The regulations require:
Where necessary, the use of road
traffic signs within workplaces to regulate road traffic.
Employers to maintain the safety signs
which are provided by them.
Employers to explain unfamiliar signs
to their employees and tell then what they need to do when they see a safety
CATEGORIES OF SIGNS
Safety signs are coloured and
intended to inform in a precise manner:
The Chemical (Hazard information
and packaging for supply) Regulations 2002 or CHIP are intended to protect
people and the environment from the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals by
making sure users are supplied with information about the dangers.
In broad terms, CHIP requires chemical suppliers to decide if the
chemicals they supply are dangerous according to a set of rules.
Dangerous chemicals must then be suitably packaged, provided with
labels incorporating appropriate danger symbols and accompanied by additional
information for safe use (such as safety data sheets).
Safety data sheets must be
provided with all dangerous chemicals and must contain information under the
identification of the
substance/preparation and company
composition/information on ingredients
first aid measures
fire fighting measures
accidental release measures
handling and storage
exposure controls/personal protection
physical and chemical properties
stability and reactivity
· Safety data sheets vary widely in quality and should never be treated as an authoritative source of information.
You have probably seen an orange
label on many containers in the workplace.
For example, such labels appear on bottles of strong detergents and
tins of paint. These chemical
products or substances are labelled because they can irritate your skin, your
eyes, or the mucous membranes in your nose or mouth – either because they
are corrosive or because they are harmful to your health in other ways.
This means that the orange
labels are warnings for you! The
labels warn you against the dangerous properties of the chemicals so that you
can protect yourself and your surroundings as well as possible.
When you take a careful look at
one of the orange labels, you will find that there are always one or more
phrases associated with the label:
phrases — risk phrases that inform you about
phrases — safety phrases that tell you how
to protect yourself or the environment.
If you see a symbol that tells
you that the substance is an "irritant", the R phrase might be
The S phrase might then be
something like "Upon contact with eyes: rinse carefully with water and
consult a doctor".
You will also see that the
orange danger symbols have one or more letters attached to them. These letters might be Tx, T, or F. The letters tell you about the dangers of the substances.
Here is a list of the danger symbols, with the most dangerous substance
Dangerous for the environment
|Chemical substances and chemical
products which are mixtures of fluids, powders, or gases must also be
labelled. For mixtures of many
substances, the labelling depends on how much the mixture contains of the
various chemical substances. Chemical
products must always be labelled as strictly as possible for health and fire
hazard. For example, a product
which contains both irritant and toxic substances must have the danger symbol
for "Toxic" combined with the letter "T" as shown on the
illustration below. If the
product is flammable as well as toxic, it must be labelled with two danger
symbols, one for the fire hazard, and one for the health hazard.
For example, it might be labelled with a "T" and an
Products such as cosmetics, furniture, clothes, and paper are not chemical products and so don't need to be labelled.
labelling and the EU
Danger labelling and
classification is the same all over the EU.
This means that the orange danger symbols you see in the UK are the same
in Italy, Germany, and Spain – and in every other EU Member State.
list of dangerous substances
The EU has a list of chemical
substances that may be dangerous in one way or another.
This list is available on the Web. As
you will have read in this book, dangerous substances must be labelled with one
or more of the danger symbols. You now also know that this applies to chemical products that
contain one or more of these dangerous substances. The rules are somewhat different for substances that haven't
been assessed by the EU. In this
case, manufacturers must assess the dangerous properties of the product, label
it, and make instructions for its use.
can you do?
It would be best if you avoid products
with danger symbols – you will often be able to find other products that are
Read the instructions carefully
whenever you have to use products with danger symbols.
Protect yourself! Use protective
goggles, rubber gloves, etc., as recommended in the instructions.
- Make sure that you throw away products with danger symbols in a safe manner.
End of module and next steps
By reaching this point you will have finished studying this particular
module. You should now have
sufficient knowledge to answer the questions contained at the end of the module.
the questions should be forwarded to your Health and Safety Manager.
Provided that you have answered the questions correctly, your Health and Safety Manager will forward to you your next self study module
|To answer questions on Module 12 Click here|