Take Care! Mandatory Signs and Safety Signs

As a responsible business manager or company director, the safety and well-being of your staff, clients, and customers are paramount. However, while you strive to instil procedures and practices that yield the safest environment possible, it’s often easy to forget accompanying mandatory signs and safety signs. Though understandable, this failure to mount mandatory signage can leave you in breach of health and safety regulations, and put yourself and your company at risk.

At JMF Group, our goal is to make the mandatory signage process as simple and painless as possible. We carry the largest selection of bright, bold, and compliant mandatory safety signs, with quick dispatch and self-adhesive backing to ensure your signs are in-place in no time at all.

Give our team a call today for more information on our mandatory signs. Alternatively, keep reading for our comprehensive guide.

What Is a Mandatory Sign?

Mandatory signs are designed to provide a broadly understood “language” for safety instruction. Employing simple colours and graphical elements, mandatory signs convey instructions clearly, and in a manner that can be understood by everyone. They act as information signs and prescribe specific behaviour (e.g. “eye protection must be worn”).

Health and safety regulations state that a mandatory sign should be round in shape, with a white pictogram on a blue background that takes up at least 50% of the total area. Their uniform appearance is a key feature of compliant mandatory signs, so you must ensure you purchase from a reputable supplier with an understanding of the regulations.

Do I Need to Display a Mandatory Sign?

Contrary to popular belief, mandatory signs are not signs which are universally required by law. Whether it is a legal requirement to display a mandatory sign depends on the situation and type of risk that is being addressed.

Nevertheless, in the interest of keeping residents safe, in any instance that could potentially cause harm or injury, it’s strongly advisable to invest in a wall-mounted sign. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a huge last-minute spike in the demand for mandatory PPE (personal protective equipment) signage, and, as a result, many establishments found themselves non-compliant with regulations—the point is: why wait?

Common Types of Mandatory Sign

As safety risks in work and public places vary site by site, there are no blanket health and safety regulations regarding which mandatory signs you need, and where they must go. For reference, however, take a look below for some of the most common mandatory safety signs:

  • Safety clothing signs (eye protection; ear protection)
  • Food safety signs (wash your hands; wear face mask)
  • Social distancing signs (line marking; keep your distance)
  • Access awareness signs (keep clear; disabled access)

As you can see, each safety sign listed above is designed to give explicit instruction to the viewer in the interests of their personal health and safety. You will need to decide whether these or any other instructions apply to your company; give our team a call if you’re unsure.

What Other Kinds of Safety Signs Are There?

Mandatory signs are one of five categories of safety sign covered by legislation in the UK. The remaining four are:

Safe Condition Signs

Often referred to as ’emergency escape’ or ‘first-aid signs’, these signs are designed to inform viewers about the building escape route, emergency exits, or first-aid/rescue facilities. They are required to be green.

Examples include:

  • Emergency Assembly Point
  • First-Aid Box
  • Emergency Hammer

For more information, see our dedicated safe condition signage page.

Fire Safety Signs

Fire safety refers to those signs which: provide information on emergency exits or routes of escape in case of fire; identify the location of fire-fighting equipment, or give a warning in case of fire. They are required to be red.

Examples include:

  • Fire Extinguisher (with arrow)
  • Fire Alarm Call Button
  • In the Event of Fire…
  • This Vehicle Carries a Fire Extinguisher

For more information, see our dedicated fire safety signage page.

Prohibition Signs

As the name suggests, prohibition signs are designed to tell viewers what they are not allowed to do. They are required to be red.

Examples include:

  • No Smoking signs (cigarettes; electronic cigarettes)
  • No Ball Games
  • No Food or Drink Beyond This Point

For more information, see our dedicated prohibition signage page.

Warning Signs

Warning signs give a warning of a risk to health and safety. To be compliant, these signs are required to be yellow or amber.

Examples include:

  • Danger: Electric Hazard
  • Caution: Very Hot Water
  • CCTV in Operation

For more information, see our dedicated warning signage page.

Multi-Message Signs

For locations with limited wall space, signs can be fabricated that display multiple health and safety messages.

Examples include:

  • Fire Exit / Keep Clear (Safe Condition / Mandatory)
  • Do Not Enter Without PPE / Face Mask Must be Worn (Prohibition / Mandatory)

Designated Smoking Area Signs

Used by businesses of all kinds, designated smoking area signs are vital for the well-being of building residents. Designated smoking area signs come in a range of material options, and don’t have the same regulatory requirements as some of their contemporaries. They can also be combined with a mounted ashtray for the disposal of cigarette ends.

Mandatory Sign Material


Brushed metal or satin anodised aluminium signage offer the ultimate in durability. Backed with permanent self-adhesive, or brass eyelets for application with cable ties, these signs are vandal-resistant and designed for any application area, indoor or outdoor.


High gloss plastic mandatory signs are a rigid but lightweight option to inform employees about hazards. Available with temporary self-adhesive and removable self-adhesive, plastic signs allow you to move your sign post-mount.


For floor graphics and line markings, repositionable vinyl is used for maximum durability, easy installation, and simple repositioning.

JMF Group: For All Your Mandatory Safety Signs

Your search for new mandatory signage is over—JMF are here!

Whether you need correct signage for your shop, restaurant, bar, or office, our team are on hand to offer a better service, a better product, at a better price than you’ll find anywhere else. From blue mandatory safety signs to designated smoking area signs, we have the widest selection of signs to account for every eventuality.

Don’t search around any longer—call us today!

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How can we help?