ANSI Compliant Signs and Labels

A Good Sign? (Epilogue)

In ANSI, Safety Symbols, Signs and Labels on 19 March 2009 at 9:52 am

A Good Sign

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

The message is clear and the hazard is obvious. After some serious updates, we have a sign that will keep people safe and (as an added bonus) help you avoid a fine from OSHA.

Here is the original design…

Hazardous Vapors Sign

Take a few moments to study the differences between these two signs.

Both signs warn of the same hazard, both signs feature the same basic safety symbol, and both signs present exactly the same information. It’s easy to see, though, that the ANSI compliant sign is much more effective. We start to get a feeling for why ANSI provides these standards in the first place. The entire purpose of a safety sign is to protect people from a hazardous situation. The more clear the message, the safer the people in your facility.

Here is a basic run down of the changes we made:

  • Find and use the appropriate header
  • Change the message wording:
    • Decide on the primary message
    • Remove unnecessary words and phrases
    • Write in “headline style”
    • Use upper- and lower-case letters
  • Use an effective safety symbol
  • Redesign the text for readability
  • Use a sign layout which increases visibility and comprehension

On a final note, I wanted to point out that there are a lot of options for the layout of the sign. Use discretion based on the environment in which the sign or label will be placed. For example, you may want to place the safety symbol on the opposite side:

Alternate ANSI Sign Layout - symbol on right

You may also eliminate the line which separates the word panel from the symbol:

Alternate ANSI Sign Layout - No Line

Depending on sign placement, you may want to use a vertical layout:

Alternate ANSI Layout - Vertical

If your color options are limited, you may also use a two-color option. make sure the color of the signal word panel remains the same (in this case, orange) and there is sufficient contrast between the text and the background:

Alternate ANSI Layout - 2 color

Leave a comment if you have specific questions, but we’ll cover ANSI layouts in much more detail in a future article.

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3

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

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