EN 7010 (European Normative) Safety Sign Legislation

The creation of ISO 7010 has required major design changes to safety signs in recent years.

Examples of new ISO 7010 safety sign symbols. Examples of new ISO 7010 safety sign symbols.

Examples of new ISO 7010 safety sign symbols. Examples of new ISO 7010 safety sign symbols.

In 2003, ISO 7010 was created with the intention to use common, internationally recognised symbols on safety signs. Until now, this has been a ‘best practice recommendation’ and so British Safety Sign manufacturers have continued to abide by the UK’s own standard, BS5499. From January 2013 this is set to change as ISO 7010 will become a ‘European Normative’ known as EN 7010. This means it will be written into European Law that the UK and other member states will have to adopt ISO 7010. As the UK’s leading supplier of safety and information signs, we have already updated our symbols to comply with ISO 7010 – so any signs you purchase from UK WorkStore will comply with the latest legislation.

Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that the two different standards of signage, BS 5499 and EN 7010, should not be mixed in the workplace. You may want to change your current signage to comply with this recommendation. When looking to purchase new signage, at anywhere other than UK WorkStore, ensure they meet with the new EN 7010 standards.

As the UK’s leading supplier of safety signs, all of our signs meet with the latest EN 7010:2011 revision standards.

What is ISO 7010?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 7010 directive determines the shape, colour and graphical symbol required on safety signs. New common symbols or pictograms ( i.e. a symbol that represents a word, concept or object) were introduced and tested throughout all EU countries to ensure that they were easily understood and recognised across Europe.

Why was it implemented?

Due to the increased migration and the subsequent increase in the number of non-native speaking workers in each country, it was deemed that text based safety instructions were no longer sufficient. It also highlighted similar problems facing those with poor eyesight, reading difficulties and other disabilities – the danger to safety became even more apparent.

The answer was the creation of an international standard for safety signs using pictograms that could be easily understood by everyone, regardless of their language, ability or culture. Now a safety sign about hearing protection or a sign indicating the nearest fire exit, will look exactly the same in any European country.

When did EN 7010 come into effect?

It is proposed that from January 2013, ISO 7010 will change from being an international standard, essentially a way of achieving good practice, to a ‘European Normative’ (EN 7010) in April 2012. This could mean huge implications for businesses and other organisations, and although it looks extremely likely that EN 7010 will come into effect, the true impact is unknown until further information is received from the British Standards Institute (BSI).

How does it affect my business?

Since ISO 7010 applies to all workplaces, sectors and locations, with the exception of some very specialist signs used in guiding transport (i.e., rail, road, river, maritime and air traffic), any premises required to display safety signs will be affected. It is therefore best practice that the latest safety sign guidance is followed and symbols are updated.

The BSI have yet to determine how this is interpreted within United Kingdom Law. As leading suppliers of safety signs in the UK, we will update our news pages as more information concerning EN 7010 comes available.

How can I be sure my signs comply?

3 Signs have always ensured our safety signs comply with ISO 7010. As a customer of 3 Signs you can be certain that any sign purchased from us will adhere to the requirements of the latest sign legislation.

Why use safety signs?

Safety signage is an important aspect of Health & Safety in the workplace for businesses and organisations. Safety signs are not a substitute for safe working practices, but they can help further reduce the risks once all other practical steps have been taken. In order to make every UK safety sign universally understood there are design rules which manufacturers have to follow (such as the old BS5499 standard which is now being superseded by EN 7010.