Hazard warning signs and labels are part of the third level of the Hierarchy of Controls, Information for Use. Globally, there are two standardized forms for machinery hazard warning labels: ANSI and ISO. Before you start 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 relies on pictograms to solve the text translation problem that exists 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”.
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.