Labour Protection Requirements for Use of Safety Signs
Issued pursuant to
I. General Provisions
1. This Regulation prescribes labour protection requirements for the use of safety signs.
2. A safety sign shall be a sign, warning colour, acoustic or hand signal referring to a specific object, activity or situation, as well as verbal communication that provides information about safety in the workplace.
3. The following safety signs shall be used at a workplace taking into account the relevant situation:
3.1. prohibition sign - a sign that prohibits activity which may cause a dangerous situation;
3.2. warning sign - a sign warning of a risk or hazard;
3.3. mandatory sign - a sign that prescribes specific behaviour;
3.4. a first-aid, emergency exits and additional escape routes sign - a sign that provides information regarding first-aid provision facilities, emergency exits and additional escape routes;
3.5. fire safety sign - a sign that provides information regarding fire-fighting equipment and devices, and the location thereof, as well as information regarding signs in plans for evacuation, fire fighting, rescue and civil defence measures;
3.6. information sign - a sign providing additional information regarding the signs referred to in Sub-paragraphs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of this Regulation;
3.7. warning colour - colouring with a special meaning;
3.8. illuminated sign - a sign that has been prepared using semi-transparent or transparent material and is illuminated from the inside or the rear;
3.9. acoustic signal - a coded (predetermined) sound signal that is transmitted by a relevant device, without utilising a human voice or artificially created voice imitating it;
3.10. verbal communication - communication that provides coded (predetermined) safety information communicated by a human voice or artificially created voice imitating it, utilising a relevant device;
3.11. hand signal - a signal that provides coded (predetermined) safety information through the movements or positions of arms and palms for persons who are carrying out manoeuvres hazardous to surrounding persons or are located in the operating area of these manoeuvres.
4. The Ministry of Welfare shall, in cooperation with the relevant standards technical committee, recommend to the national standardisation authority a list of standards for safety signs to be adapted in relation to this Regulation.
[7 April 2015; 11 December 2018]
5. The national accreditation authority shall publish on its official website the list of the Latvian national standards that are applied for fulfilment of the safety requirements laid down in this Regulation.
[7 April 2015; 11 December 2018]
6. The Consumer Rights Protection Centre (in the field of trade and provision of services) and the State Labour Inspectorate (at workplaces) shall carry out the supervision of the market in safety signs, ensuring that the safety signs to which the requirements of this Regulation refer to are offered on the markets - sold, presented as gifts or handed over for use with or without remuneration.
7. If a market surveillance authority determines that a safety sign does not conform to the requirements specified in this Regulation, it shall take measures determined in laws and regulations in order to prevent the placement thereof on the market, as well as the use of the relevant safety signs.
8. The employer shall provide safety signs for the workplaces in which it is not possible to prevent or reduce work environment risk or serious and direct danger by using technical means for collective protection, as well as the equipment, methods and procedure used in the organisation of work. The employer shall be responsible for the maintenance of the relevant safety signs. The employer, in selecting safety signs, shall take account of work environment risk at a workplace.
9. The employee shall be acquainted with the safety signs used at the workplace and the meaning of the safety signs (especially signals and verbal communication), as well as instructed regarding the use of safety signs.
10. At a workplace, in which road, rail, inland waterways, sea and air transport is used, safety signs shall be utilised, as well as the signs regulating the relevant mode of transport if it is not in conflict with the requirements of this Regulation.
11. This Regulation shall not apply to signs that are used:
11.1. for placing hazardous substances and mixtures, products and equipment on the market, if there is no reference to this Regulation in the relevant laws and regulations;
11.2. for regulating road, rail, inland waterways, sea and air transport outside the relevant workplace.
[7 April 2015]
II. Requirements for Safety Signs at Workplaces
12. Safety signs shall be divided into permanent and occasional signs.
13. The following shall be used on a permanent basis:
13.1. signs related to prohibitions, warnings, mandatory instructions and fire safety, as well as first-aid, evacuation and additional escape routes;
13.2. safety signs on containers and pipelines;
13.3. warning colour or safety signs for indicating such places, in which there is a risk of collision with obstacles, falling or there is a threat of falling objects;
13.4. warning colour for marking traffic routes.
14. In special cases, the following shall be used:
14.1. an illuminated sign, acoustic signal or verbal communication, if it is necessary to provide information regarding hazard or risk, to give directions regarding the fulfilment of a particular course of action, as well as in cases of evacuation, taking into account the possibilities for interchanging and combining signs in accordance with the conditions of Paragraphs 15 and 16 of this Regulation;
14.2. hand signal or verbal communication if it is necessary to give instructions to the employees who are carrying out hazardous manoeuvres.
15. The following interchanging of safety signs shall be permissible:
15.1. the warning colour or the safety signs referred to in Sub-paragraphs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6 of this Regulation to indicate places in which there is a risk of collision with obstacles, falling or threat of falling objects;
15.2. illuminated sign, acoustic signal or verbal communication;
15.3. hand signal or verbal communication.
16. The safety signs, which may be used together, shall be as follows:
16.1. an illuminated sign and acoustic signal;
16.2. an illuminated sign and verbal communication;
16.3. a hand signal and verbal communication.
17. The meaning of a warning colour at a workplace is specified in Annex 1 to this Regulation.
18. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the safety sign, it shall be prohibited:
18.1. to utilise such objects that interfere with the visibility of a sign, or sources of sound, which interfere with the audibility of the signal;
18.2. to utilise two or more similar illuminated signs at the same time;
18.3. to utilise an illuminated sign in the proximity of another light source;
18.4. to utilise two acoustic signals at the same time;
18.5. to utilise an acoustic signal if the surrounding noise level is high.
19. The number and positioning of the safety signs and/or signalling devices shall depend on the zone to be covered and the extent of hazards of the object.
20. Safety signs which require power for functioning shall be provided with a guaranteed additional source of power in the event of permanent power source cut.
21. The activation of an illuminated sign and acoustic signal shall indicate the beginning of the relevant action, and they shall stay activated until the end of the action. The illuminated sign and acoustic signal shall be ready to be reactivated immediately after use.
22. The functioning and effectiveness of illuminated signs and acoustic signals shall be checked before they are installed and subsequently not less than once a month.
23. If the audibility or visibility at a workplace is problematic (also due to using personal protective equipment), the relevant safety signs shall be supplemented or replaced by other signs, which shall ensure the perception of information.
24. Territories, premises or places in which hazardous substances or mixtures are stored shall be marked with a corresponding warning sign (Annex 2), taking into account the conditions referred to in Paragraphs 28, 31, 32, and 32.1 of this Regulation, unless the labelling of individual packages or containers provides equivalent protection. Warning signs shall be placed by the places where hazardous substances or mixtures are stored or on the doors of warehouses. If there is no corresponding warning sign regarding hazardous substances or mixtures in Annex 2 to this Regulation, the hazard pictogram referred to in Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (hereinafter - Regulation No 1272/2008) shall be used.
[7 April 2015]
III. Requirements for Safety Signs
25. The form and colour of the safety sign shall comply with the requirements prescribed in Annex 2 to this Regulation.
26. The pictogram on the safety sign (the figure which depicts a situation or indicates a specific (particular) action) shall be as simple as possible and contain only essential details.
27. A safety sign shall be made of shock-resistant material that is resistant to climatic conditions and the effect of various factors of work environment. If the level of natural light is insufficient, phosphorescent colours, reflective materials or artificial lighting shall be used.
28. The dimensions, colouring and photometry of a safety sign shall ensure it being easily seen and understood.
29. The safety sign shall be installed at a suitable height within the field of vision of the employee close to the relevant hazardous object, in an easily accessible place, taking into account any obstacles, as well as the access to the exit points in case of danger.
30. If the hazard of the object ceases to exist, the relevant safety sign shall be removed.
IV. Requirements for Labelling Pipelines and for Safety Signs on Containers and Pipelines
31. Pipelines shall be marked in conformity with their content, in compliance with the following requirements:
31.1. blue - oxygen;
31.2. green - water;
31.3. red - vapour;
31.4. grey - air;
31.5. yellow - flammable gas;
31.6. black - non-flammable gas (liquid);
31.7. orange - acid;
31.8. violet - alkali;
31.9. brown - flammable liquid.
32. Containers of flowing substances, as well as open pipelines that store or transport flowing substances or mixtures which in accordance with Parts 2 and 3 of Annex I to Regulation No 1272/2008 have been classified as hazardous, shall be marked with the relevant hazard pictograms in accordance with Regulation No 1272/2008.
[7 April 2015]
32.1 The signs referred to in Paragraph 32 of this Regulation may be:
32.1 1. replaced with warning signs as provided for in Annex 2 to this Regulation using the same pictograms or symbols. If there is no corresponding warning sign in Annex 2 to this Regulation, the relevant pictogram of hazard indicated in Annex V to Regulation No 1272/2008 shall be used;
32.1 2. supplemented with information regarding the name or formula of hazardous substance or mixture and more detailed information regarding the threat;
32.1 3. supplemented or replaced with the signs that are applied in the European Union to transportation of hazardous substances or mixtures if containers are transported at a workplace.
[7 April 2015]
33. The requirements of Paragraph 32 of this Regulation shall not apply to containers used at a workplace for brief periods, nor to containers whose contents change frequently, if special information is used, which guarantees the same level of safety, or other equivalent safety measures are taken.
34. Warning signs shall be firmly affixed, glued or painted on the visible side (sides) of a container.
35. Warning signs shall be placed on pipelines in a visible place in the vicinity of the most hazardous points (by valves and joints).
V. Requirements for Marking the Location of Fire-fighting Equipment
36. The location of fire-fighting equipment shall be marked with fire safety signs set out in the Latvian national standard Safety Signs and Warning Colour to be Used for Fire Safety and Civil Protection.
37. The red area of the colouring shall be sufficiently large to allow the fire-fighting equipment to be identified easily.
VI. Requirements for Marking Obstacles, Hazardous Substances and Transport Routes
38. Places in which there is a risk of collision with obstacles, of falling or there is a threat of falling objects, shall be marked with alternating yellow and black or red and white stripes.
39. The dimensions of the warning colour shall be commensurate with the scale of the obstacle or hazardous places.
40. The yellow and black or red and white stripes shall be of equal width and placed at an angle of 45 degrees.
41. Traffic routes for vehicles in the premises, where such are required for the protection of employees, shall be marked with painted, clearly visible continuous stripes (white or yellow), taking into account the colour of the flooring.
42. The stripes shall be located so as to indicate a safe distance between the vehicles and any object that may be located nearby, as well as between pedestrians and vehicles.
43. Permanent traffic routes outdoors, unless they are provided with suitable barriers or pavements, shall be marked in conformity with the requirements prescribed by Paragraphs 39 and 40 of this Regulation.
VII. Requirements for Illuminated Signs
44. The light emitted by an illuminated sign shall be in contrast with the surrounding environment, without producing glare and ensuring clear visibility of the sign.
45. The luminous area emitted by a sign may be of a single colour or contain a pictogram on a specified background.
46. An illuminated sign shall conform to the requirements of Paragraph 19 of this Regulation.
47. If an illuminated sign can emit both continuous and intermittent signs, the intermittent sign shall provide information regarding a higher level of danger or emergency action. The frequency of the flashes and the duration of the flash of an intermittent illuminated sign shall be such as to avoid confusion with a continuous illuminated sign and ensure the proper perception of information.
48. If an intermittent light signals emitting illuminated sign is used instead of or together with an acoustic signal, encoded information of the same kind shall be used.
49. An intermittent light signals emitting illuminated signs, which provide information regarding danger, shall be under special surveillance or provided with an auxiliary light source.
VIII. Requirements for Acoustic Signals
50. The sound level of an acoustic signal shall be considerably higher than the level of ambient noise, without being excessive or painful. The length of the signal and the interval between signals or groups of signals shall be clearly distinct from other acoustic signals or ambient noise.
51. If a device can emit an acoustic signal at variable and constant frequencies, the variable frequencies shall provide information regarding a higher level of danger or emergency action.
52. The acoustic signal that provides information regarding evacuation shall be continuous.
IX. Requirements for Verbal Communication
53. Verbal communication may be direct (human voice) or indirect (artificial voice imitating human voice, which is transmitted by appropriate device).
54. Verbal communication between a speaker and emitter of speech and one or more hearers shall take the form of individual words, phrases or a short text (coded as well).
55. A spoken message or a command shall be as short, simple and clear as possible. The verbal skills of the speaker and the hearing abilities of the hearer shall ensure reliable verbal communication.
56. A person involved in verbal communication must have a good knowledge of the language, so that the spoken message or a command are correctly understood and followed by an action which is appropriate to the safety requirements.
57. If verbal communication is used instead of hand signals, code words shall be used as follows:
57.1. "Start!" ["Sākt!"] - to indicate the start of an activity;
57.2. "Stop!" ["Stop!"] - to interrupt a movement;
57.3. "End!" ["Beigt!"] - to stop the activity;
57.4. "Raise!" ["Celt!"] - to have a load raised;
57.5. "Lower!" ["Zemāk!"] - to have a load lowered;
57.6. "Hazardous!" ["Bīstami!"] - to prevent an emergency situation;
57.7. "Quicker!" ["Ātrāk!"] - to speed up a movement for safety reasons;
57.8. "Slower!" ["Lēnāk!"] - to slow down a movement for safety reasons.
58. If verbal communication is used together with hand signals, code words supplemented with corresponding hand signals shall be used as follows:
58.1. "Forwards!" ["Uz priekšu!"] - to have a load moved forwards;
58.2. "Backwards!" ["Atpakaļ!"] - to have a load moved backwards;
58.3. "Right!" ["Pa labi!"] - to have a load moved to the right;
58.4. "Left!" ["Pa kreisi!"] - to have a load moved to the left.
X. Requirements for Hand Signals
59. Hand signals used at workplaces shall be precise, simple, expansive, easy to make, clearly visible and understandable, and they shall comply with the requirements prescribed in Annex 3 to this Regulation.
60. Where both arms are used in giving a hand signal, they shall be moved symmetrically and for giving one signal only.
61. Hand signals may differ from those set out in Annex 3 to this Regulation if they are understandable and provide an equal level of safety, however, the meaning of the hand signals set out in Annex 3 to this Regulation may not be changed.
62. The person giving the hand signals (hereinafter - the signalman) to the person receiving these signals (hereinafter - the operator) shall see all manoeuvres without being endangered himself or herself. If it is impossible to fulfil this condition, one or more signalmen shall be designated additionally.
63. The signalman's duties shall consist exclusively of directing manoeuvres to ensure the safety of other employees.
64. If the operator is unable to carry out the order he has received safely, he or she shall interrupt the manoeuvre and request new instructions from the signalman.
65. The signalman must use brightly coloured, clearly visible distinctive items (a jacket, helmet, armband, baton or other similar items). The abovementioned items may not be used by other employees.
Informative Reference to European Union Directives
[7 April 2015]
This Regulation contains legal norms arising from:
1) Council Directive 92/58/EEC of 24 June 1992 on the minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work (ninth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC);
2) Directive 2014/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 amending Council Directives 92/58/EEC, 92/85/EEC, 94/33/EC, 98/24/EC and Directive 2004/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, in order to align them to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures.
Prime Minister A. Bērziņš
Minister for Welfare V. Jaksons
Meaning of Warning Colour
Minister for Welfare V. Jaksons
[7 April 2015]
Safety Signs Used at Workplaces
[7 April 2015]
I. Prohibition Signs
1. Prohibition signs shall be in a round shape with a black pictogram on a white background, the edging and the diagonal line - red (the red part shall take up at least 35 per cent of the area of the sign).
2. The following prohibition signs shall be used at workplaces:
II. Warning Signs
3. Warning signs shall be in a triangular shape with a black pictogram on a yellow background, black edging (the yellow part shall take up at least 50 per cent of the area of the sign).
4. The following warning signs shall be used at workplaces:
Note. The warning sign referred to in Sub-paragraph 4.9 of this Annex shall only be used to provide warnings about hazardous substances or mixtures if stocks of several hazardous substances or mixtures need to be marked.
III. Mandatory Signs
5. 5. Mandatory signs shall be in a round shape with a white pictogram on a blue background (the blue part shall take up at least 50 per cent of the area of the sign).
6. The following mandatory signs shall be used at workplaces:
IV. First-aid and Additional Escape Routes Signs
7. First-aid and additional escape routes signs shall be in the shape of a rectangle or a square with a white pictogram on a green background (the green part shall take up at least 50 per cent of the area of the sign).
8. The following first-aid signs shall be used at workplaces:
9. The following additional escape routes (evacuation) signs shall be used at workplaces:
9.1. additional escape, road, route
Minister for Welfare V. Jaksons
Hand Signals used at Workplaces
If it has not been provided otherwise in laws and regulations, the following hand signals shall be used at workplaces:
Minister for Welfare V. Jaksons
Translation © 2021 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)
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