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Napo’s Best Signs for Safety: Mandatory/Rescue signs

This film provides a basic introduction to health and safety signs and symbols found in the workplace. It provides a useful guide for new employees and a valuable refresher for other workers. Different workplace situations are shown where safety signs are important. This film is suitable for all sectors and all levels of employees but especially for young people in training or work experience.
Teacher guidance
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This toolkit introduce children to basic safety signs, helping them to identify and differentiate between different shaped signs and understand why signs help us stay safe with a fun role-play game.

Learning Objectives

To raise awareness of a range of warning signs and know why they are important.

To evaluate the way signs convey their meaning.

To raise awareness of using signs to protect yourself.

Groups evaluate each other’s performance and test each other’s knowledge of what each sign shape means.

Masks can be used to make a classroom display


Show a sign and ask what it means, where you may see it and why we should obey its instruction (i.e. explain the purpose of safety signs). Questions: 

  • What signs can you remember seeing around school, at home, on the roads?
  • Do you ever NOT take notice of a sign?

Discuss typical risks we meet in everyday life and how they are linked to signs.


(40/45 minutes) Watch the Napo film clip provided with this lesson: Safety Signs Mandatory Rescue

Best Signs Story: Introduction; Blue Circle (Mandatory signs); Hearing protection must be worn; Green square (Rescue Signs); Emergency escape sign.

Possible activities:

  • Discuss each scene, what is happening and why. List some reasons as to why people didn’t take notice of signs.
  • Show a choice of signs from the full set of signs included in the EU Directive (see Help sheet). Discuss the basic rules of colours and shapes of safety signs.
  • Draw an example of each sign. • Explain the purpose/usefulness of signs and their different meanings.
  • In teams take one shape sign – Round and Square – that conveys mandatory instructions.
  • Make the signs into masks that can be fixed onto sticks and held up in front of the face.
  • Think about how the signs may speak or act to make sure they are noticed e.g. gentle voice and body language for information, strong loud authoritative voice and body language for mandatory.
  • Discuss typical risks we meet in everyday life and how they are linked to signs.
  • These can be practiced and modelled by the teacher in advance of group work if necessary.
  • Test the whole class on their knowledge of what signs say and mean and why they are important through group plenary.
  • Extension work can research other signs, including some simple road signs, and create a sign for the school.

 Extension Work

  • Consider other signs such as the examples below – and make a really effective sign for your school

  • Explain what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is, also based on clips of Napo films safety goggles, safety helmet, shoes, hearing protection, gloves

A number of potential Napo clips for extension work can be found here: www.napofilm.net/en/napos-films


Test the understanding of the different shapes and colours of signs and assess using the continuum below. Teacher and students assess their learning using this tool:

  • Gold: I can explain at least five rescue and mandatory signs; what they mean and why they are important.
  • Silver: I can explain two types of sign; what they mean and why they are important.
  • Bronze: I can explain one type of sign; what it means and why it is important.
Resources required
  • Plain paper and coloured crayons to draw signs
  • Red and yellow card and sticks to make masks on sticks
  • Blue Circle (Mandatory signs) template
  • Blue and green card and sticks to make masks on sticks
  • Help sheet for teachers: Mandatory/Rescue signs
  • Green square (Rescue Signs) template
  • Go to video

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