What does it mean to have OSHA/ANSI compliant signs?

OSHA and ANSI have a set of standards regarding safety signs used to alert workers of hazardous situations and give information in regard to safety. A facility will need pipe markers, safety signs to mark hazards, first aid signs, fire equipment signs, and more. OSHA/ANSI standards have developed standards regarding color of the signs, format of a sign, and the text that will need to be included in the sign.

According to the ANSI Z535 standard, a sign should consist of a combination of the following four elements:

  • Safety alert symbol: This symbol should be used when personal risk is present only, not when there is risk of property or equipment damage.
  • Signal word: A singular word printed at the top of signs and is meant to communicate quickly the gist of the sign. Signal words include DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION, NOTICE, and SAFETY.
  • Symbols: Symbols should be easy to understand and accurate. There are several standardized, universally understood symbols that are commonly found throughout industries.
  • Word messages: In addition to the signal word, this message should be a more concise message that only contains the necessary information and has no factual errors. Additional information can be a hazard description or emergency info. Examples of commonly used phrases include phrases like “Watch Your Step” or “Eye Protection Required”.

OSHA/ANSI have standards when it comes to the header color of a sign. Danger signs have a red header, warning signs use orange, yellow is for caution signs, notice signs have a blue header and safety instruction signs feature a green color. These signs must be properly placed in accordance to the findings of a job hazard analysis.

The ANSI Z535 standard also covers product safety labels, safety tags, barricade tapes, product safety information and product safety instructions. Read more about ANSI Z535 here.

 

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Additional Resources

OSHA Label and Sign Color Chart
 
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