What is ANSI Z535.3?

ANSI Z535.3 American National Standard for Criteria for Safety Symbols is one of six individual standards that make up ANSI Z535.

Symbols are important elements in the design of safety signs. These symbols help convey messages across language barriers, bring additional explanation to safety messages, and decrease comprehension time for faster hazard communication.

Although the addition of symbols to a safety sign or label helps increase understanding and it is often a best practice to include on a sign, ANSI Z535.3 safety symbols are optional elements of signage.

ANSI Z535.3 safety symbols are classified into four types: hazard alerting, mandatory action, prohibition, and information. For more information about these classifications and examples of each, visit our ANSI Z535 Safety Symbols page.

With the ability to quickly provide important safety information across different languages, reading comprehension levels, and learning backgrounds, effective symbols are consistent in their design. This consistency often creates a familiarity with the images, making it easier to notice differences, such as the addition of a hard hat or other feature that is important to the potentially hazardous situation.

  • Comparison of consistent vs inconsistent designs

This consistency is an important element in the design of ANSI Z535.3 symbols. The standard covers the benefits of consistency and guidelines for the effective design of symbols for consistency across use cases. Annexes to the standard also provide guidance on how to choose a symbol when designing a safety sign.

What are ANSI standards?

ANSI is an independent organization that oversees standards for numerous industries. These standards help create uniformity for products, processes, and ways to share information, such as accident prevention information. Learn more here.

What is the ANSI format for safety signs?

ANSI safety sign formats are based on the ANSI Z535-2011 standard. This standard has three important elements, including a safety header, images, and the sign legend. Learn more here.

What are ANSI color codes?

ANSI color codes are described in the ANSI Z535.1-2001 standard for the identification of potential hazards and safety equipment. Each color or combination of colors has its own use case. Learn more here.

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 policies. 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 here.

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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