ANSI Compliant Signs and Labels

A Good Sign? (Part 1)

In ANSI, Signs and Labels on 16 March 2009 at 2:45 pm

Hazardous Vapors Sign

We have all seen signs like this. You may not immediately recognize anything at all wrong with it. In fact, though, it is not only littered with errors, but hanging a sign like this in your facility may just get you fined by OSHA.

Over the last decade, ANSI has ramped up its effort toward standardizing the designs of signs and labels. Some of these changes are fairly obvious, others more subtle. All of the updates, however, are geared toward making your facility much safer.

One of the most notable (and somewhat controversial) moves by ANSI was to completely eliminate the old header designs:

Old Headers

We will continue to see these headers in use for a few years. Anything already in place or manufactured doesn’t need to be replaced or destroyed (and OSHA won’t hold it against you). In an effort to create consistency, though, ANSI has designated a few very specific headers for both signs and labels:

New ANSI Style headers

Along with presenting a standardized series of headers with specific colors, every header is hazard-specific. The safety green header is the only one which may have custom wording (such as “EYEWASH” or “SAFETY PROCEDURES”). There are also detailed rules which govern when and where to use each header. For instance, If there is no risk of personal injury (regardless of the type of hazard), the NOTICE header should be used. Also, DANGER should be limited to the most extreme situations which will cause serious injury and death. You can get a better idea of which header is appropriate using this flow chart (click here).

The sign at the top of this post is for hazardous vapors which may (but not always) be deadly. According to OSHA and ANSI standards, it should be a WARNING sign. So let’s update it:

Still not ANSI Compiant, but better

This gets us one step closer to having an ANSI compliant sign (which means you’ll avoid that dreaded OSHA fine). Next time, we’ll look at how the wording of your message can help make a much more effective warning.

For more information on creating OSHA compliant signs, please see this Best Practices Guide offered by Graphic Products, Inc. (click here)

  1. […] Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 2 […]

  2. […] This certainly is a good sign and we have completely conformed to the standardization in ANSI 535. It has come a long way… […]

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