Directive 92/58/EEC of 24 June 1992 on the minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work is a daughter directive of the OSH framework directive 89/391/EEC and provides requirements for employers to protect the safety and health of workers. The directive does not apply to signs for the placing on the market of hazardous chemicals (pictograms in accordance with the CLP Regulation 1272/2008/EC) or equipment (e.g. pictograms on personal protective equipment).
This Directive lays down minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work.
Safety and/or health signs means ‘signs referring to a specific object, activity or situation and providing information or instructions about safety and/or health at work by means of a signboard, a colour, an illuminated sign or acoustic signal, a verbal communication or a hand signal, as the case may be’.
Other definitions: prohibition sign, warning sign, mandatory sign, emergency escape or first-aid sign, information sign, signboard, supplementary signboard, safety colour, symbol or pictogram, illuminated sign, acoustic signal, verbal communication and hand signal.
Employers must provide or ensure that safety and/or health signs are in place where hazards cannot be avoided or reduced. The annexes of this Directive provide detailed information about the minimum requirements for all safety and health signs. In January 2022 the EU Commission also issued non-binding guidelines clarifying the relationship between directive 92/58/EEC and the ISO standard on safety and health signs (EN ISO 7010).
Workers and their representatives must be informed of all the measures taken concerning health and safety signs at work and must be given suitable instruction about these signs. This covers the meaning of signs and the general and specific behaviour required.
The annexes detailing technical specifications of health and safety signs are adapted in the light of subsequent related directives and technical progress in the field of health and safety signs at work.
Annex I: General minimum requirements concerning safety and/or health signs at work
Annex II: Minimum general requirements concerning signboards
Annex III: Minimum requirements governing signs on containers and pipes
Annex IV: Minimum requirements for the identification and location of fire-fighting equipment
Annex V: Minimum requirements governing signs used for obstacles and dangerous locations, and for marking traffic routes
Annex VI: Minimum requirements for illuminated signs
Annex VII: Minimum requirements for acoustic signs
Annex VIII: Minimum requirements for verbal communication
Annex IV: Minimum requirements for hand signals
- Report on the Evaluation of the Practical Implementation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Directives in EU Member States - Directive on the minimum requirements for the provision of safety and / or health signs at work (2017)
- Non-binding Guidelines regarding directive 92/58/EEC - Safety and health signs at work (2022)