The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535 standard explains how to communicate about safety issues using signs, labels, and other instructional materials in the workplace, in public places, and on product packaging. ANSI most recently updated this Z535 standard in 2017, and OSHA has adopted these guidelines as best practices for workplaces since 2013.
That means its wise to use ANSI/OSHA-compliant signs and labels in your facility to mark hazards and convey other important information. Browse our selection of ANSI Z535 labels and signs for the workplace below. They contain appropriate headers, pictograms, and text for a variety of workplace hazards. Don’t see the sign or label you need? Get in touch. We can create one to meet your requirements.
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ANSI-compliant safety signs and labels contain several key parts: the safety alert symbol, signal words, symbols/pictograms, and text messages. Each component plays an important role in conveying safety information.
The safety alert symbol is an exclamation point inside an inverted triangle. It should appear in the header of ANSI Z535 signs that alert people to hazards. This symbol can be a white exclamation point on a black background or a black exclamation point on a white background, depending on the color of the sign’s header. The inside of the triangle may also be yellow or orange in some instances.
Four signal words appear in the headers of ANSI Z535 safety signs: Danger, Warning, Caution, and Notice.
Signal words appear at the top of each sign in noticeable, all capitalized letters. The safety alert symbol appears to the left of Danger, Warning, and Caution (Notice is not used with the safety alert symbol).
Each signal words has an assigned color for the space behind it:
Additionally, some signs may say “Safety Instructions” at the top (or similar text such as “First Aid Instructions”). These signs are green and white and usually convey information about handling a safety incident or treating an injured person.
ANSI Z535 signs contain symbols or pictograms that represent the hazard in question. These ANSI symbols are important because they’re eye-catching, they reinforce what the sign says, and they help communicate the hazard to people who don’t speak English. They may be images of personal protective equipment (PPE), machinery, vehicles, a person tripping/falling/etc., or a circle with a line through it around an action that must be avoided. These symbols are easily recognizable and easy to interpret.
The text on ANSI Z535 signs is short and to the point. It contains no unnecessary information. It should also be printed in a font that’s easy to read. As you can see in the labels above, the text appears in a box on the right side of the label below the signal word and to the right of any symbols.
Employers are required to warn employees about hazards with safety signs and labels. These updated ANSI Z535 formatted signs were designed to convey important information in the best way possible. Each part of the sign plays a key role in message comprehension, which is significant because if someone needs to follow specific instructions to avoid a dangerous situation, they need to understand those instructions quickly.
When you use ANSI signs in your facility, this also standardizes the way safety signs look. This makes it easier for people to interpret signs because the information they need is always presented in the same order and format. For example, if someone were looking at a warning label for a slipping hazard, the color orange would tell him or her there’s a fairly serious hazard, even if the person isn’t that close to the label. The text on the right side of the label would then inform the person there’s a slipping hazard. The safety symbol to the left would reinforce the text, or if the person doesn’t read English, it would still convey what type of hazard exists.
To learn more about ANSI signs and labels, take a look at this free Guide to OSHA Safety Signs.