Latest update: 28/06/2022

Non-binding Guidelines regarding directive 92/58/EEC - Safety and health signs at work

These guidelines explain the relationship between Directive 92/58/EEC and the current International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards on safety and health signs.

The non-binding guidelines are prepared by the Advisory Committee for Safety and Health at Work (ACSH). The ACSH is a tripartite body and assists the EU Commission in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of activities in the field of OSH. 

The guidelines are intended to ensure a greater harmonisation of safety signs across the EU by clarifying the

  • practical application of Directive 92/58/EEC; and
  • the relationship of the directive with the ISO standard on safety and health signs (EN ISO 7010).

The first part of the guidelines explains the legal background and the requirements laid down in Directive 92/58/EEC. The directive imposes employers to provide safety and/or health signs where risks cannot be avoided or adequately reduced by technical or organisational prevention measures. Annex II to Directive 92/58/EEC describes the intrinsic features of safety and health signs and provides an overview of signboards that should be used. Annex II also provides for the possibility of using signboards that are slightly different, as long as they convey the same meaning and respect the relevant intrinsic features. Directive 92/58/EEC contains binding minimum requirements and is transposed into the national laws of the EU member states. Standard EN ISO 7010 on safety and health signs is a voluntary system and Directive 92/58/EEC takes precedence over such an instrument. This means that signs of the EN ISO 7010 comply with the requirements of the directive as long as they provide the same meaning as the directive and no difference or adaptation changes its meaning.

The second part of the guidelines describes in detail a selection of safety signs as laid down in Directive 92/58/EEC and compares them with ISO signs.

Annex I of the guidelines provides a list of references to various Member State resources regarding safety signs. Some of these national examples serve as extensive guidelines whereas others focus on specific sectors or issues.

Annex II presents a table with an overview of EN ISO 7010 signs in comparison with Directive 92/58/EEC.

Publication details Published by: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Publication date: January 2022 Number of pages: 37 pp.

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