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New safety sign standards 
23/05/2013 
 
Andrew Harvey, A Signs manager explains... 
 
'There has been quite a lot of coverage recently in the press regarding the new safety signs standard ISO 7010.The implication is that all companies should replace their safety signs in order to comply. 
 
WRONG! - There is new legislation, and yes many of the common safety symbols have changed albeit in many cases they are hardly discernable. 
 
You do not need to take down and replace your existing signage, if you do need a new sign as a replacement or for a new project or premises, you should be insisting on ISO 7010 symbols. However if the sign will be placed among existing signage which conform to BS 5499, it is ‘best practise’ not to mix the two standards as confusion could possibly arise. 
 
At Asigns we take pride in being able to design and manufacture bespoke signs and are happy to continue to supply safety signs to the existing BS 5499, if it is more appropriate to you. Please contact myself or one of my colleagues at Firewatch for advice for the most cost effective sign solution. 
We are also happy to carry out a premises signage survey as well as carry out maintenance on your current signage.  
Fire Signage 
 
We now have one standard for safety signs which includes fire safety and fire exit signs and it is an International (ISO) European (EN) and British (BS) Standard, BS EN ISO 7010:2012. It is envisaged The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations [HS(SSS)R] will be amended soon and the new signs will become law and the so called euro-sign will be no more. It appears anybody with BS 5499 pt 4 signs will conform to the new standard. 
 
When the HS(SSS)R is amended the so called euro- sign [ 'man running into a fridge' ]* will be illegal though a period of grace will likely be given to change from the old sign to the current.*typically seen on luminaires –exit boxes. 
 
The new ISO 7010 pictograms will become universal across Europe this does not mean signage within the UK or other Euro member States cannot carry text based instructions alongside the graphic in the native language so English speakers – or rather readers, may notice very little difference to our existing BS5499 signage. 
A sample of the change to a common safety sign. 
What is ISO ?  
 
Despite its name the ISO (International Standards Organisation) is essentially a European body and the adoption of ISO EN7010 outside of Europe is entirely at the discretion of individual nations. The grand design that envisages the same safety signage in use worldwide is still a distant prospect. Effectively the Standard has become European law thereby obliging the UK, as a member state, to adopt it. Not unlike, in fact very like BS5499 the new European Standard uses symbols or pictograms to get the message over, many almost indistinguishable from the UK standard. Given the cross – border movement of employees signs need to be understood irrespective of language; recognition that across Europe at least the workforce now comprises an eclectic mix of nationalities with varying fluency in the country’s native language. 
So in the words of late Clive Dunn, Lance-Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ – DON’T PANIC Mr CUSTOMER - it is more than likely that when the full detail is published the implementation will be phased and will certainly not require businesses to remove and replace their existing BS5499 safety signs'. 
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Group Head Office, 1 Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4PB 
tel: 0800 783 4171 fax: 01626 363172 
email: info@firewatchsouthwest.co.uk 
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