Haz­ard warn­ing signs and labels are part of the third lev­el of the Hier­ar­chy of Con­trols, Infor­ma­tion for Use. There are two stan­dard­ized forms for machin­ery haz­ard warn­ing labels in use glob­al­ly: ANSI and ISO. Before think­ing about labels, you need to com­plete a risk assess­ment.

ANSI Hazard Warning Labels

ANSI haz­ard warn­ing labels like the one shown above are the norm in the USA and are com­mon­ly seen in Cana­da and Mexico.

ISO Labels

ISO relies on pic­tograms to solve the text trans­la­tion prob­lem with ANSI labels. It also can help to solve lit­er­a­cy prob­lems when the machin­ery is used by peo­ple who may not have basic lit­er­a­cy skills. Each shape and colour com­bi­na­tion is stan­dard­ized; the red cir­cle with the diag­o­nal slash on a white back­ground for “pro­hi­bi­tion,” the black tri­an­gle on a yel­low back­ground for “warn­ing,” the white cir­cle on a blue back­ground for “manda­to­ry,” and the white square on a green back­ground for “safe­ty information.” 

Harmonized labels

In 2020, ANSI and ISO agreed upon a new har­mo­nized “word­less” label that uses the haz­ard alert colours and rec­tan­gu­lar orga­ni­za­tion from ANSI and the ISO stan­dard shapes. Pic­tograms can come from either system.

We work close­ly with Clar­i­on Safe­ty Sys­tems to pro­vide label reviews and assis­tance with the design and use of haz­ard warn­ing labels and signs.

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