A workplace safety program is incomplete without the right safety signs. Safety signs allow for quick and effective communication of important information like what hazards are present or where emergency equipment is located. Having easy-to-read, well-designed safety signs reduce accidents, protect lives, and keep workers alert.

The first safety sign standard was introduced in 1941 by the American Standards Association (which would later become the American National Standards Institute), providing the foundation for sign regulations today. Safety signs are a kind of administrative control that must be used when a hazard cannot be completely eliminated.

In this section we cover safety sign topics like:

  • Regulations: What does OSHA require for safety signs? Are ANSI safety sign standards law? We look at how organizations can meet compliance.
  • Best Practices: Where should safety signs be posted? What materials should be used for safety signs? Everything you need to know to build and implement your new sign system.
  • Design: How should safety signs look? Signs are comprised of four main components: a signal word, a color header, a safety message, and symbols.
  • Visual Communication: How do safety signs fit in with an overall facility marking strategy? We look at how to use signs in conjunction with floor marking, labeling, pipe marking, etc.

So, how does your safety identification system hold up? Take an audit of your facility signs, assessing for compliance and effectiveness. Whether you want to revamp your outdated safety sign system, or are just looking to boost safety awareness, Creative Safety Supply can help.

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Safety Signs Articles

Returning to Work Safely

Returning to Work Safely

As restrictions are lifted and your employees come back to work, make sure you continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by implementing these health and safety best practices.

Floor Marking for Social Distancing

Floor Marking for Social Distancing

Using floor marking materials such as signs, tape, and other visual reminders is a highly effective way to implement social distancing and reduce the spread of illness in your facility.

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

Learn which OSHA standards apply to preventing exposure to illness in the workplace, how to determine level of risk, and which controls to implement to protect your workers.

FOD: How to Control and Prevent Foreign Object Debris

FOD: How to Control and Prevent Foreign Object Debris

FOD is an acronym for Foreign Object Debris and the consequences caused by this debris, Foreign Object Damage. Controlling FOD is critical in both the aviation and manufacturing industries.

Mine Safety & Health [Expert Advice]

Mine Safety & Health [Expert Advice]

Miners face many hazards that put their safety at risk. By adhering to MSHA standards and providing training and appropriate equipment, employers can enhance mining safety.

Catchy Safety Slogans for the Workplace

Catchy Safety Slogans for the Workplace

Catchy safety slogan signs are an interesting method that many companies use to keep employees and customers safe.

OSHA Sign Compliance: ANSI 1967 vs. ANSI 2011 [With 2017 Updates]

OSHA Sign Compliance: ANSI 1967 vs. ANSI 2011 [With 2017 Updates]

OSHA regulations require businesses to follow one of two safety sign standards to remain in compliance: ANSI 1967 and ANSI 2011. Take a look at these two styles and pick the one that best meets your needs.

What is HAZCOM? (Hazard Communication Definition + OSHA Standards)

What is HAZCOM? (Hazard Communication Definition + OSHA Standards)

Hazcom is designed to help employees to quickly identify hazardous chemicals. Learn more beneficial information about Hazcom.

NFPA 70E [Workplace Electrical Safety]

NFPA 70E [Workplace Electrical Safety]

NFPA 70E was created to help prevent injuries to workers in energized environments. If you’re working with live energy, you need to know this safety standard to stay OSHA compliant.

Supply Chain Integration

Supply Chain Integration

Supply chain integration refers to the process of integrating all parts of fulfillment into one single system. Learn the steps to get your supply chain integrated into an easy-to-manage system.

What is a thermal printer? (direct transfer)

What is a thermal printer? (direct transfer)

Thermal printers are essential to printing in an industrial setting. Learn about the two types of thermal printing to determine which one suits your facility’s needs.

Lean Healthcare (Principles for Improvement)

Lean Healthcare (Principles for Improvement)

Implementing lean healthcare in the medical field will lead to improvement in overall performance and patient satisfaction.

Solar System Labeling

Solar System Labeling

In 2017, The National Electrical Code (NEC) made some significant changes to solar system labeling standards. Getting familiar with these updates will help your facility stay safe and efficient.

Visual Factories

Visual Factories

Visual factories use signs, posters, charts, labels and floor marking to provide information that improves efficiency, safety and productivity in the workplace. This is a fairly simple concept that yields excellent results.

OSHA Safety Sign Requirements [1910.145]

OSHA Safety Sign Requirements [1910.145]

Understanding OSHA standards for warning signs and tags is an essential part creating a safe work environment.

How to Implement 5S in an Organization

How to Implement 5S in an Organization

It takes significant effort to implement a proper 5S program, but following the right steps will drive success and help the process go smoothly.

Safety Colors (OSHA Guidelines and Color Codes)

Safety Colors (OSHA Guidelines and Color Codes)

Using colors strategically makes communication in your facility more effective. Get the details about common color codes.

ANSI Z535 [Updated Guide to Safety Signs & Labels]

ANSI Z535 [Updated Guide to Safety Signs & Labels]

An in-depth look at ANSI’s standard for safety signs and labels in the workplace.

What are ANSI standards?

What are ANSI standards?

The American National Standards Institute makes guidelines that could impact your workplace.

OSHA Floor Marking

OSHA Floor Marking

Find out what OSHA has to say about marking your facility's floors.


Safety Signs Questions and Answers

How high does a fire extinguisher sign need to be?

Fire extinguishers are an important safety item in every facility. In order to be effective, however, it is important to ensure that people are able to find them in an emergency. Even if you walk buy a fire extinguisher every day, when the stress of an emergency hits, you might not remember precisely where it… 

How high should ADA signs be posted?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is set up to help ensure people with disabilities are not unjustly restricted. Part of this act provides guidelines on how various types of signs should be posted so that those with disabilities can easily read them. While this is a good thing in general, it can be difficult… 

What do black and white traffic signs mean?

When driving down any public road in the United States, you will see a lot of different signs. There are different categories of signs, and each category will typically have a set color scheme to help drivers quickly identify their meaning. Black and white traffic signs are almost always going to provide drivers with regulations… 

What are 'Safety Zone' signs?

Workplace safety is an important priority in every industry. In facilities where injuries are more common, or more serious, a lot more attention is typically paid to keep people safe. In many situations it may be necessary to designate specific areas where safety is of critical importance. In these areas, it is not uncommon for… 

How can facilities get signs made?

Signs are used for many different things in the workplace. Finding a good way to get the exact signs that are needed is important in most industries. There are quite a few different options to choose from, and the best ones will depend on the specific requirements. Whenever looking for a good place to get… 

What is a yield sign?

A yield sign is most commonly used on roadways and other areas where there is vehicle traffic. The sign is intended to alert drivers and pedestrians that they need to yield the right of way to another party. These signs will typically be found at an intersection where there is not a huge amount of… 

What does caution mean?

Caution means ‘the trait of being cautious; being attentive to possible danger,’ according to the dictionary.  This is certainly accurate in general, but when it comes to practical situations, such as the workplace, caution can have a much more nuanced meaning. Understanding what caution means in a given environment is very important for keeping everyone… 

What color is a yield sign?

Of all the traffic signs that people see on a daily basis, there is the most confusion about what a yield sign actually looks like. When asked what color is a yield sign, quite a large number of people respond that they believe that it is yellow. The fact is, however, that standard yield signs… 

What are different types of construction safety signs?

Construction sites can easily be one of the most dangerous types of workplaces and could benefit a great deal from safety signs. Both employers working in the construction site and pedestrians passing by can be at risk and signs can protect both parties. Hazards that can be commonly found in a construction zone include falling… 

What can I use floor signs for?

It may not seem like it, but the floor is one of the best areas to put down a safety sign. Industrial floor signs were developed to be durable and withstand forklift traffic, heavy pedestrian traffic. The floor signs here at Creative Safety Supply are made with an extremely strong adhesive backing that will stay… 

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… 

What are different road or traffic control safety signs?

Facilities that have warehouse traffic or busy parking lots will need to invest in road and traffic control safety signs. These signs will guide people along the safest route, inform them of hazards, and alert of unsafe areas to park. Warehouse traffic: Facilities and warehouses are often filled with forklift, industrial vehicle, and pedestrian traffic… 

What should I avoid in a safety sign?

Safety signs and labels are only effective I they can be easily understood by an employee. The following are best practices to avoid common mistakes when posting safety signs in the workplace: Place signs where the can be seen: Signs that are placed too high will not be seen by workers, and warning labels on… 

What do different colors of safety signs mean?

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

What are examples of fire safety signs?

Fires can be extremely unpredictable and cause severe damage to property and result in serious injury to workers, or even death. OSHA requires employers to create a written fire prevention plan that includes the identification of fire hazards, train employees on fire safety, and have a proper fire suppression strategy. Fire safety signs are important… 

What are different materials of safety signs?

One safety sign material does not fit all workplaces! Because of how crucial safety signs and visual communication is, it is important to choose appropriate signs for different areas of the workplace.  Here are Creative Safety Supply, we offer our wall signs in five different materials for wall signs, with different durability levels and mounting… 

Where are safety signs needed?

Safety signs will need to be posted in hazardous areas, around dangerous machinery, by emergency evacuation routes, on pipes, and many other areas around the workplace. A facility or safety manager should assess their workplace and identify hazardous areas with a job hazard analysis. The analysis was developed to aid the manager in applying the… 

What do different symbols on safety signs mean?

Symbols are a wonderful way to quickly communicate quickly and help communicate with non-English speakers. A safety alert symbol has been added as a key component to OSHA’s safety sign standard. This symbol, an exclamation point surrounded by a triangle, indicates a potential personal injury hazard, and should not be used for possible damage to… 

What are types of signs in the workplace?

There are five different types of signs recognized by the ANSI Z535 standard: danger signs, warning signs, caution signs, notice signs, and safety instruction signs.  The first three are considered hazard communication signs and the last two informational. Danger signs: Used for situations where there is a hazard present that will cause serious injury or… 

What are other forms of visual communication to use alongside safety signs?

Visual communication goes much further than signs. Facilities using several types of visual communication around the workplace can ensure the point is made and people understand the hazard, notice, or safety instruction message. Visual communication is so crucial to safety as people are far more likely to notice and remember information they gather visually, rather… 

Are safety signs just for the wall?

The wall is just one place safety signs can be posted. A visual communication strategy and safety program will be improved by using a variety of safety signs placed around the facility. Other forms of signs a facility or safety manager should consider include: Floor signs: Industrial floor signs are a great option to use… 

How can I create my own safety signs?

There can be instances in a workplace where safety signs ordered from a catalog will not get the job done. If a workplace needs a specific sign made but may not have the means to create them in-house, custom signs from Creative Safety are the answer. There are two different options when ordering a custom… 

Why are safety signs important?

Keeping workers safe is an employer’s obligation by OSHA law, and having a visual communication strategy, namely safety signs, is key. Safety signs plays a large part in keeping facilities compliant and employees knowledgeable. It is critical for workers to understand the types of hazards in the workplace, the level of risk the hazard presents,… 

 
OSHA Label and Sign Color Chart
 
Social Distancing Guide
 

Safety Signs Blog Posts

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Safety Signs Infographics

Stop Buying Labels from a Catalog

Stop Buying Labels from a Catalog

Six reasons you should stop buying labels from a catalog and start printing your own labels with an industrial label… 

Pokemon GO: Safety Do's and Don'ts

Pokemon GO: Safety Do's and Don'ts

Pokémon Go: Safety Dos & Don'ts Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings. Don't tresspass on private… 

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers in the Workplace Safety 2.8 million workplace injuries occur every year in the US alone.This equates… 

Surprise OSHA Inspection? What to Expect

Surprise OSHA Inspection? What to Expect

Surprise OSHA Inspection? What to Expect. Inspections have four main parts Presentation of Credentials The inspector will present credentials, which contain a… 

Leading Causes of Workplace Injuries

Leading Causes of Workplace Injuries

Leading Causes of Workplace Injuries They may seem simple and ordinary, but they sure add up! Knowing the kinds of injuries… 

GHS Timeline: What's Next?

GHS Timeline: What's Next?

GHS: What's Next? The timeline of GHS Compliance The GHS Mission: To internationally standardize classification and labeling of chemicals with pictograms, signal… 

10 Astonishing Facts about Arc Flash

10 Astonishing Facts about Arc Flash

10 Astonishing Facts about Arc Flash An Arc Flash is an energy discharge that forms when a fault occurs in an… 

5 Steps for Pipe Label Compliance

5 Steps for Pipe Label Compliance

It's Pipe Marking Season! Are you in Compliance? Now that the snow is melting and spring is springing, this is a… 

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Safety Signs Podcasts

Safety programs work best by consulting workers. EHS expert Lori Siegelman of W&M Environmental tells how to involve employees to… 

Counterfeit electrical components can instantly burst into flames. Hear how to identify fake wiring, breakers and switches from Brett Brenner… 

Safety resources for free? Former OSHA inspector, Dave Weber, explains why he offers the goods. Listen, be inspired, and find… 

Starting A Visual Workplace should not mean you’ll get a pink slip because of workplace efficiency. Dr. Gwendolyn Galsworth explains. In… 

Starting A Visual Workplace—improving efficiency with Visuality. Dr. Gwendolyn Galsworth explains better work flow through visual devices. Dr. Galsworth defines the… 

10 Rules For Forklift Safety can keep drivers and pedestrians safe on the job. Some forklift safety tips are obvious,… 

Safety signs help companies be OSHA compliant based on ANSI Z535 safety sign and tag standards. Hear about four categories… 

Carbon monoxide hazards spike in winter when heaters and fuel-gobbling equipment are used indoors. Beware of poisoning from odorless carbon… 

Snow safety avoids on-the-job cold stress and slips, trips and falls. Plan ahead for the next flurry with the right… 

Safety goals in the workplace can be implemented or refined at year’s end to ensure a safe start to the… 

Slips, trips and falls. Who would think they cause 15 percent of on-the-job deaths? Hear about prevention and OSHA’s proposed… 

Oil and gas extraction can knock a worker on his butt. Or much worse. Hear about the on and off-site… 

Pesticide safety needs an uptick! Thousands of people are poisoned every year and many don’t know the cause. Listen to… 

Work zone safety near live traffic is critical. Hear advice on keeping your workers safe with a traffic control plan,… 

Flammable liquids safety can change quickly when workplace temperatures rise. Listen for four ways to avoid flashpoint fires and explosions. Find… 

Laser safety in the workplace minimizes the risk of eye injuries. Hear about the 7 laser classes, and the precautions… 

Loading dock safety is difficult to manage because of constantly moving vehicles, people and materials. Listen to this podcast for… 

Machine guarding is one of OSHA's top 10 most-cited safety violations. Workers should respect these devices that protect them from… 

Warehouse traffic can be a safety battle. A battle of people vs. machines. Too often, the machines win. Struck-by accidents in… 

Exit route violations are very common in OSHA inspections. Make access to unobstructed, well marked workplace exit routes a priority.… 

Workplace hazards are sometimes hidden in plain sight. Workers and managers need to be aware of 10 dangerous hotspots in… 

Lean safety is the result of implementing “lean” methodology. Lean makes businesses less wasteful, more efficient and more profitable. An… 

Industrial labels are cheaper to make in-house. And quicker. For a manufacturing, in a warehouse, or almost any work site,… 

This is a surprise! OSHA does NOT have requirements for safety color coding in the workplace. But ANSI does. The… 

Keep clothing tucked and tight! If not, workers could be pulled into a machine. Baggy pants, neck ties and untied… 

It’s a killer you can’t see, taste or smell. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen due to gas powered tools running… 

This is the story of tragedy that could have been avoided with better safety housekeeping. Here, we detail a fatal… 

Dan has compiled the 10 most common signage and labeling questions asked about keeping workers safe and avoiding fines. These… 

An eyewash station is something you may need, but hope you will never use. But if there’s an emergency, it’s… 

In this podcast, we are going to talk about a less-known fact on construction sites in the United States -… 

Choosing the right safety label maker for your facility's safety program is an important job. Many safety managers are given… 

Safety labels from an industrial label maker can help you pass an OSHA inspection, and keep employees safe. An inspection from… 

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