Lack of clarity over new safety sign ‘legislation’

Signbox’s Mark Bartlett says that introduction of BS EN7010, a new Standard for safety signs in the workplace, has led to a lack of clarity, not helped by many sign suppliers implying that companies must now change all their safety signs to comply with the new Standard.

7 August 2013 – In 2003, ISO 7010 was introduced, a new international standard for safety signs using pictograms that could be easily understood by everyone, regardless of their language, culture or ability.  In the years that followed, this standard was simply regarded as a ‘best practice recommendation’ and was largely ignored in the UK as most British companies adhered to our own BS5499 standard.

From January 2013 that all changed as ISO 7010 became European Norm (EN7010), officially replacing the BS5499 standard, and has been adopted by member states throughout Europe.

This has led to a great deal of confusion and misinformation, with some safety sign suppliers implying that it’s now law and that safety signs must change to comply with the new Standard.

Mark Bartlett, Managing Director of Signbox, comments, “It’s a common misconception that British Standards and the more Europe-wide European Standards (EN) are law but they are not – they are Codes of Practice.  In some circumstances Standards can be given a type of legal status when they are referred to within legislation or government-issued guidance and Approved Codes of Practice.  In the case of safety signs the relevant legislation is the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations of 1996, also known as the Safety Signs Regulations.  These regulations implemented EC Directive 92/58/EEC.  However they have not been updated and there is no indication at present that they will be changed to incorporate EN7010.

“Some companies are now saying that all workplace safety signs (including fire escape signs) must be replaced – but that isn’t strictly true.  Having said that, whilst there is no legal requirement to replace existing safety signs, Health and Safety guidance recommends that the two different types of signage, BS5499 and EN7010, should not be mixed in the workplace.

“If your signs are being erected or installed in a building extension or refurbishment it makes sense to ensure they are all in the new style, complying with EN7010.  If it’s a new build then clearly use signs that comply with the new Standard.”

In addition to its ‘corporate’ website Signbox now operates www.signboxshop.co.uk , an online store for “off the shelf” signage.  This features a comprehensive range of ready-made workplace signs including safety signs that all comply with EN7010.

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Issued on behalf of Signbox Limited by Next Step Marketing Ltd

Media enquiries to: Heather Lambert

Tel:  44 (0)1256 472020
Fax:  44 (0)1256 471010
Email: heather@nextstepmarketing.co.uk

About Signbox

Drawing on architectural and engineering experience, Signbox develops high quality, sustainable and fully compliant signs and displays for the built environment.  Signbox is an innovative company creating future-proof products for a wide range of market sectors, including corporate, education, healthcare, retail, hotel and leisure.  As a single-point resource Signbox offers consultancy, signage strategy, design, manufacture, project management and installation.

Signbox's vision is to enable static signs, using NFC technology, to provide a host of interactive experiences via consumers' smartphones.

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About Us

Next Step Marketing (NSM) is a marketing and communications agency based in north Hampshire. The business is headed up by Denzil Lee. Prior to setting up NSM Denzil spent 11 years as Director of Marketing for National Boat Shows Ltd (London Boat Show & Southampton Boat Show) and before that held other senior sales and marketing roles with two FTSE 100 PLCs. He has been a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing since 1992, gaining Chartered Marketer status in June 1999. In November 2006 he was made a Fellow of the Institute. Since 1992 he has also been a member of The Marketing Society. We have worked across many different sectors with extensive experience of both consumer and B2B campaigns.

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Quick facts

From January 2013 ISO 7010 became European Norm (EN7010), officially replacing the BS5499 standard, and has been adopted by member states throughout Europe.
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Whilst there is no legal requirement to replace existing safety signs, Health and Safety guidance recommends that the two different types of signage, BS5499 and EN7010, should not be mixed in the workplace.
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Quotes

It’s a common misconception that British Standards and the more Europe-wide European Standards (EN) are law but they are not – they are Codes of Practice.
Mark Bartlett, Signbox Managing Director
If your signs are being erected or installed in a building extension or refurbishment it makes sense to ensure they are all in the new style, complying with EN7010.
Mark Bartlett, Signbox Managing Director