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No Entry Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are no entry signs used?


No entry signs are used to prohibit entry to areas that may contain sensitive information or a hazardous condition, equipment, or material. General access to such areas may constitute a breach of confidentiality for a business, disclose information not meant for public consumption, or pose a health or safety threat for the accessing individual.

Q. Is it legal for facilities to restrict entry to certain areas?


Facilities and businesses may restrict entry to certain individuals or areas for a variety of reasons. These include safety considerations that require putting in place safeguards to ensure the health and safety of employees, customers, and/or visitors. Certain areas may be kept out of bounds to prevent any confidential information from being wrongly disclosed.

Additionally, this step may also be taken to better organize a setting and have designated entry and exit points. In certain circumstances, the entry restriction may apply to a select group of individuals to keep up with a law or as a preventive measure. For instance, entry restrictions may apply for minors in places of adult entertainment, bars, and so on. 

Q. Are do not enter signs an OSHA requirement?


While OSHA does not explicitly specify the use of do not enter signs, their use may be implied to ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace. Depending on the hazard severity involved, these signs may be used with the relevant OSHA header — danger, warning, caution, or notice.

Q. Can only workplaces use do not enter signs?

Do not enter signs may also be used in retail and commercial establishments to keep entry to certain areas restricted to authorized individuals only. These areas may be storerooms, data rooms, staff-only areas, and so on. At times, no entry signs may also be used to direct traffic flow, prevent crowding and chaos, and facilitate hassle-free security checks.
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