ANSI Z535 Safety Headers

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Selecting the right header for your label/sign

The first element to consider when designing a product safety label is to determine the likelihood and severity of a potential injury if a person does not follow the instructions contained on the safety label or sign.

For product identification there are four Signal Words or Hazard Classifications used in the design of an ANSI Z535.4 2007 compliant safety label: “DANGER”, “WARNING”, “CAUTION” or “NOTICE

When more than one hazard exists on a product it is permissible to use one label, provided the information addresses each hazard and the signal word selected is based on the greatest level of hazard.

The Safety Alert Symbol is used to warn of a potential personal injury hazard. This symbol is used in conjunction with the signal word or can be used alone. This symbol should be used on both product safety labels and in literature which can describe the potential hazard in greater detail.

ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels

Signal Word Definition & Compliance

Another change worthy of note is the clarification of the Safety Alert Symbol; use and respective colors and the incorporation of the ISO 3864-1 version. In the last revision, 2002, it only supplied a explanation of what the symbol should be and what it meant. This new revision (2007) on the other hand has taken a step further into clarifying when to use, how to use, what colors it should be, and also the option(s) that when used on the ANSI safety labels will be in compliance with ISO 3864-2.

safety alert symbol sample

Safety alert symbol. It is used to alert you to potential personal injury hazards. Obey all safety messages that follow this symbol to avoid possible injury or death.

Danger
for use with DANGER signal word: white triangle, red exclamation mark and red background.
Warning
for use with WARNING signal word: black triangle with orange exclamation mark.
Caution
for use with CAUTION signal word: black triangle with yellow exclamation mark.
Danger, Warning, Caution Black border
for use with DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION signal words: yellow background, black border and black exclamation mark
Danger, Warning, Caution Yellow border
for use with DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION signal words: yellow background, black border and black exclamation mark with a yellow border around the black border.

Signal Words Revisions

The 2002 revision stated that the signal words for product safety labels were: DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION. Where CAUTION could be used for property-damage-only accidents when used without the triangle and exclamation mark.

ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels
Danger
Indicates an imminently hazardous situation which, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury. Safety Signs identified by the signal word DANGER should be used sparingly and only for those situations presenting the most serious hazards.
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels
Warning
Indicates a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury. Hazards identified by the signal word WARNING present a lesser degree of risk of injury or death than those identified by the signal word DANGER.
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels
Caution
Indicates a hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in minor or moderate injury. It may also be used without the safety alert symbol as an alternative to “NOTICE
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels
Notice
is the preferred signal word to address practices not related to personal injury. The safety alert symbol should not be used with this signal word. As an alternative to “NOTICE”, the word “CAUTION” without the safety alert symbol may be used to indicate a message not related to personal injury.
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels
Safety instructions or safety equipment
location signs indicate general instructions relative to safe work practices, reminders of proper safety procedures, or the location of safety equipment.

Fire Safety Signs

Fire Related Safety Signs
These signs do not have a signal word (header). If there is a message, the colors should be red background with white text of white symbol, whenever a symbol is used.
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels

Directional Arrow Sign Panels

Directional Arrow Sign Panels
arrows should be white on a colored background (black, red, green, or the same color as the text message)
ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels

Signal Word (header) Selection Process Simplified

ANSI has added this Annex E to provide guidance when selecting and determining which signal word to use to identify a hazardous situation.

ANSI Z535.4 Safety Labels

SafetySign.com 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). SafetySign.com 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 SafetySign.com 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 SafetySign.com.
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