ANSI Format

What is the ANSI format for safety signs?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has accredited three important standards for the design of accident prevention signs, labels, and tags.

Although the standards are important guidelines, ANSI is an independent organization that has no regulatory or enforcement authority over the use of these standards, unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The ANSI standards that relate to the design and content of safety signs are ANSI Z53.1-1967, Z35.1-1968, and Z535-2011(R2017). The ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard has superseded the previous standards.

ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) was incorporated into OSHA guidelines to bring greater clarity to the identification of hazards and safety policies. This standard creates guidelines for the colors, symbols, information, and other aspects used on safety signs.

ANSI Z535-2011(R2017)’s incorporation by OSHA makes the design a viable option in OSHA compliant accident prevention signage design.

The format of an ANSI safety sign has three important elements. They are:

Safety Headers and Signal Words

The safety header and signal word (danger, warning, caution, notice, or safety instructions) is classified based on the seriousness of the potential hazard. For more information, visit our Safety Headers page.

Safety Symbols (symbol or pictogram)

Safety symbols or pictograms are used to communicate hazards, precautions, and other information quickly, across language barriers. There are four basic types of symbols (hazard alert, mandatory action, prohibition, informational). For more information,visit our Safety Symbols page.

Sign Legends

The sign legend should accurately describe the hazard or policy that the sign is alerting others to.

  • ANSI Description

ANSI recommends the use of direct statements on signs that communicate information and allow people to react and avoid hazards.

The ANSI Z535.2-2011(R2017) standard discussing the size of sign size, text sizes in the sign legend, and viewing distances can be used as suggested best practices.

What is the OSHA format for safety signs?

OSHA formats for safety signs include specific use of safety headers, colors, and sign legends. These are OSHA standards and have come to incorporate the ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard. Learn More.

Do I need OSHA or ANSI safety signs?

The goals of OSHA and ANSI designed signs are the same: to alert workers of potential hazards and of workplace polices. There are many factors that should be considered before choosing one design or the other, and in many cases, an ANSI formatted sign will comply with OSHA standards. Learn More.

What is ANSI?

ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute, and it is responsible for promoting standards that are understood clearly across multiple industries. These standards help unify different ways of communicating information.

Viewing Distances for Safety Signs does not recommend or specify the use of a specific safety sign because it does not have knowledge of the hazard(s) our customers are identifying. It is the customer’s sole responsibility to identify the hazard(s) that may be present and select one or more signs (stock or custom) that accurately identify their specific hazard(s) and complies with any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). disclaims any and all liability (excluding liability for our Product Warranty contained in our Terms and Conditions) for any sign selected by a customer and shall not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of signs purchased from it or for the independent interpretation made of any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations, and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). Customer shall indemnify and hold and its corporate parent and its officers, directors and affiliates harmless from and against any and all claims, loss or expense (including attorneys’ fees) arising from or related to the purchase and use by customer or any third party of any sign purchased by customer from

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