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Hazard warning signs and symbols are an important part of ensuring safety in the workplace and our everyday lives, as they help us recognise a range of different dangers so that we can take the correct measures to avoid injury.

Many accidents in the workplace are caused by preventable dangers, which is why all businesses must carry out a risk assessment to ensure the necessary measures can be put in place to warn of the possible dangers and therefore prevent the level of risk. Using hazard warning signs and symbols is an easy way to flag up possible risks in any business and even homes, for example electrical safety stickers on fuse boxes or warning symbols on the back of bleach bottles.

Most of the universal warning symbols are in place to prevent serious injury and even death, but how many of the symbols would you recognise? Take our quiz to see if you know the warning or hazard these symbols are used to identify. How many of these nine potentially life threatening dangers would you be aware of? (click on the image to enlarge)


Hazard warning symbols quiz


Hazard symbols can be used to alert of any kind of impending danger including dangerous material, possible malfunction of equipment, or even the dangers of working in a certain environment.

So, how well do you think you did? See below for answers and more information on what each hazard symbol warns of.

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1. Toxic

The skull and cross bones symbol is used to warn of toxic or poisonous materials. This means if the material is ingested, inhaled or comes in contact with the human body at all, it can cause serious harm and even death.

2. Corrosive

Any corrosive substances are capable of destroying living tissue and any other material they come into contact with, which is why you should always avoid contact and inhalation.

3. Flammable

The flammable symbol warns of which solids, liquids, or other materials can easily catch fire.

4. High voltage

Electricity is highly dangerous, especially when it runs on a high voltage. You should take care when using all electrical items, but this particular symbol warns of a high voltage of electricity which could cause death if electrocuted.

5. Eye protection must be worn

In certain working environments, safety clothes must be clothes to protect from injury. This symbol advises that eye protection must be worn at all times.

6. Explosive

It wasn’t one of the easiest out of the nine, but the explosive hazard symbol warns of any material, which if handled incorrectly, could cause an explosion.

7. Not drinking water

Some water in workplaces or factories is used for purposes other than drinking and therefore is not safe to ingest. If you see this sign near a tap, make sure you aren’t tempted to drink the water as it could cause serious illness.

8. Dangerous when wet

Some materials can be safe in their original state but when they come into contact with water this makes them unstable and dangerous.

9. Radioactive

Radiation in strong forms can be very dangerous. In areas where there are high levels of radioactive material you will see this sign to warn of the potential risk.

Let us know how you did in the comment box below. Are you a symbol expert or do you need to brush up on your health and safety knowledge?

For a full range of hazard warning, safety signs and labels visit our website.

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