Mandatory signs are useful, visual materials that are used to inform the public or employees of a business or establishment of the statutory requirements for the area they have entered. This can include safety signs, prohibition signs, warning signs and PPE signs. Mandatory signs should be quick to read pieces of important information to be displayed and followed where vocal guidance cannot always be given due to time or environmental restraints (loud machinery, etc.).
Mandatory signs cover a wide range of purposes, from reminding people to wash their hands in the bathroom to detailing what to do and where to go in the event of a fire. They are also used to remind both visitors and daily workers of protective clothing, acting as a visual checklist before entering a site to ensure the utmost safety for everyone involved.
Mandatory signs can be seen in the majority of public and even private spaces, providing clear instruction for clothing or behavioural requirements in particular areas or warnings against certain behaviours and/or objects. In order to be as effective as possible, mandatory signs are displayed clearly where they are required, such as site entrances, in bathrooms or on protective fencing around dangerous areas or machinery. Most interior signage is self-adhesive, allowing for it to be quickly installed where it is needed.
Mandatory signs can be instructional, indicating the need for PPE - Personal Protection Equipment - which can include high visibility clothing, safety helmets or other head protection, protective gloves, ear protectors, face masks or respirators, protective eyewear or protective footwear. PPE signs are commonly seen around construction sites, warehouses, factories or laboratories that deal with chemical or biological specimens. These signs are recognisable by their distinct white text or pictograms on blue colouring, but can vary in colour depending on their function or environment.
Another type of mandatory sign is the warning sign, normally seen in eye-catching yellow and black combinations but can also be bright red. These signs are either prohibitory or informative, with red signs typically being the ones to instruct the reader against doing something - No Entry, Do Not Switch Off, No Smoking, No Vehicles Past This Point, etc. - and yellow signs used to inform - Wet Floor, Danger, High Voltage, Warning, Demolition In Progress, etc.
Other mandatory signage can be used for specific instructions in particular environments that may typically be used by a single person, or ones that may become tiresome to repeat. This can include instructions to turn off particular machinery when not in use or to turn off lights when leaving a room. These signs are typically plain white with black text, but this can change depending on the preference of the business that is using them.