Scaffolding Signs and Advertisements

The primary function for any scaffolding signs or displays is to guarantee health and safety. Warning people of the risks and dangers associated with varying aspects of scaffold use is a vital part of complying with H&S Regulations, and ensures that everyone working with and for you is aware of hazards.

The Safety Signs and Signals Act of 1996 (which forms part of the aforementioned regulations) states that users must be informed of any hazards involved in using equipment or structures, such as scaffolds, where – regardless of what other safety measures you have put in place – there remains a “significant risk” to employees and anyone else in the area. It forms the UK part of an EU directive to make sure that notices across Europe use the same symbols and layouts to make them universally understandable regardless of language barriers – and is an easy way to keep the people you’re employing safe.

With this in mind, if you’re planning on putting up scaffolds then you’re going to need to display the appropriate signs:

Hazard Indicators

Signage on scaffolding to indicate where there is a hazard is generally colour-coded either red and white, or black and yellow. The most common forms signal that scaffolding is incomplete (and therefore must not be used); that there is a risk of electrocution or other injury (from power lines etc.); they also serve to alert people to the risks of working at height, or to warn that the structure is being used and must not be tampered with.

Advisory Notices

Additional symbols are required where users need to be advised of rules, such as appropriate dress code (hard hats, high-visibility jackets, ear protection etc.); where areas are prohibited or restricted access; and of any rules that must be followed, e.g. all visitors must sign in at reception upon arrival. These posters tend to offer guidance on what is required or forbidden on site, and are usually signified by a blue colour scheme.

Assistance Signposts

The third group deals with offering assistance and are often green in colour. They direct users to the nearest first aid kit, or the nearest fire exit. They offer advice on what to do in the event of an emergency, list the appropriate people to contact, and alert anyone in the area to the location of refuges or help points.

It’s worth noting that although workers and visitors need to be made aware of the various scaffolding rules and hazards, too many signs – especially concentrated in one area – can be quite confusing. Therefore, try to limit displays to areas where they’re relevant. Make sure they’re easily visible against the scaffolds and will not fall down (otherwise you’ll need a sign to warn people of that hazard too!).

Alternative Scaffolding Signs

Of course, there are opportunities to display signs on scaffolding that have nothing to do with staying safe, and everything to do with advertising. Whether you’re displaying what a building is going to look like when it’s finished, or displaying a poster for a local show, performance or company, there are plenty of chances to create an eye-catching display on a structure that’s often several storeys high.

If you are using scaffolding signs for advertising purposes, then express permission from your local authority is required before you can hang any banners, wraps, shrouds or other adverts from your scaffolds. If you are completing work on a listed building, then additional consent from this branch of government is also needed.