What do different colors of safety signs mean?

OSHA Sign Types LLike symbols, colors can help quickly communicate a message with just a glance. This should be included in the safety sign training and workers should have a comprehensive knowledge of what colors indicate in a safety sign. The following colors are used as instructions for certain situations as recommended by the ANSI Z535.1 code and OSHA standards:

  • Red Danger ANSI sign Red: Red is reserved for danger signs and labels. This color signifies a hazardous situation, alerts people they need to stop, or mark off restricted areas. OSHA says red will be the basic color for identifying fire protection equipment and apparatus.
  • Orange Warning Authorized personnel only sign Orange: Used to alert people to the fact there are dangerous parts of a machine or equipment. For example, orange is most commonly used with labels that are placed directly on the machinery, but is also used for wall signs, specifically warning signs.
  • Yellow: YYellow signs are used anywhere that caution needs to be used, specifically physical hazards. This includes risks of tripping, falling, getting burned, being caught in a pinch point, experiencing hearing damage, and almost any other common hazard that may be present.
  • Green: Green is safety related and means there is no risk present. This color is commonly used for first aid signs or signs indicating exits.
  • Blue: Provides information about a particular item or area. This information doesn’t necessarily have to be safety related, such as property policies. Blue signs are also used for signs depicting mandatory actions by the worker and notice signs.
  • Magenta & Yellow: These signs using magenta text on a yellow background is used for radioactive materials or equipment that produces radiation.
  • Black & White: These colors are used for a number of reasons. For example, guiding traffic, telling people which direction to go and housekeeping information in the facility. While not specifically safety related, having this type of signage can directly improve the safety of the facility.

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OSHA Safety Signs Guide
OSHA Label and Sign Color Chart
Label Samples
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