Safety Label Basics

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ANSI GUIDELINES
We have chosen the "ANSI" (American National Standards Institute) Z535.4 guidelines for the design of our safety labels. The ANSI guidelines are the most current, are accepted by "OSHA" (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and closely resemble other international guidelines such as from "ISO" (International Organization for Standardization).

Some of the basic guidelines are explained below. For complete guidelines you should contact ANSI; you can find a link to their website on the "links" page on our menu.

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CHOOSE THE PROPER HEADER:
The header should alert personnel to the actual hazard involved. Using a "DANGER" label for a situation that could only cause a minor injury, or using a "CAUTION" sign for a hazard that can cause a serious injury, are inappropriate; understating a hazard can be dangerous, overstating a hazard is confusing, both should be avoided.

USE A PROPER SYMBOL:
Many people are poor readers or can not even read the language. Using a proper symbol will enable most people to quickly understand the hazard involved.

DESCRIBE HAZARD & EMPHASIZE ACTION:  
The message should make clear what the hazard is and what the consequences can be. Give a persuasive and clear instruction in headline style of how to avoid the hazard.
 
SIZE AND MATERIAL:
Safety Labels and Signs should be of an appropriate size to be read from sufficient distance to avoid the hazard. The label or sign material should be suitable for the conditions and environment it is used in.

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DANGER Labels and Signs should be used in extreme situations where serious injury or death is almost certain as a result of the hazard, if not avoided.

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WARNING Labels and Signs should be used in situations where serious injury or death is possible as a result of the hazard, if not avoided.

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CAUTION Labels and Signs should be used to alert for unsafe practices or situations where minor or moderate injury or damage will be the result if the instructions are ignored.

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NOTICE Labels and Signs should be used to provide general information relevant to the equipment. The message can be related to property damage but not to personal injuries.

   

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GENERAL SAFETY SIGNS, although not strictly part of ANSI Z535 guidelines, can be used to provide information about subjects such as first aid, sanitation, housekeeping and general safety measures.

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