Visuals for the Workplace: Safety Signs & Labels

safety signs and labelsImportant safety rules, instructions, and work area information are often best conveyed by visualcommunication. When purchasing Danger, Caution, and Warning signs or labels for your facility, you should be aware of both the OSHA standard for design, as well as the ANSI Z535 standard. As for other labels and signs, you are generally free to design them at your own discretion.

Some of the signage and labeling that are most common and/or required can be seen in the following:

  1. OSHA Danger Signs (Red) – Danger signs are used to indicate extreme situations; death or serious injury will result if these immediate hazards are not avoided or the proper precautions are not taken.
  2. OSHA Warning Signs (Orange) – Warning signs are used to indicate a hazard level that falls between “Caution” and “Danger.” Death or serious injury could result if these hazards are not avoided.
  3. OSHA Caution Signs (Yellow) – Caution signs are used to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices. Injury may result if these hazards are not avoided.
  4. OSHA Notice Signs (Blue) – Notice signs can range from facility instructions to notifications of practices that do not relate to personal injury.
  5. Pipe Marking Labels – All pipes should be labeled as according to local laws and regulations. This typically includes chemical name and the flow direction. The most commonly followed standard for pipe labeling is the ANSI/ASME A13.1
  6. Ammonia Pipe Marking Labels – Working with ammonia is particularly dangerous and labeling pipes carrying this substance is regulated by the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration. Ammonia pipes require a multi-color label specifically designed to give important information regarding pressure and flow.
  7. Valve Tags – Valve tags are an important component of pipe marking. These tags are often used to display valve contents, operation instructions, lockout instructions, amongst other things.
  8. Metal-Detectable Labels – Use or post this type of labels where metal contaminants may compromise product. Especially suited for food handling/production.
  9. General Safety Signs – Display important general safety information, health, medical equipment, first aid, sanitation, housekeeping. These can serve as reminders or instructions.
  10. Arc Flash Labels – These labels are specifically used to warn people of the possibility of one of the most dangerous workplace hazards: arc flash. They alert to information about explosive electrical energy discharge from short-circuit fault. Arc flash labels have a “Warning” header and includes the arc flash rating, arc flash boundary, the hazard category, and required PPE.

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