OSHA Signs - Definitions
Written by Steve Hudgik
OSHA has a number of standards that apply to making signs and tags. In general, when making OSHA signs for safety you will need to make signs that comply with the following.
Note: OSHA signs are classified according to use.
OSHA Signs To Indicate Danger - danger signs are used in major hazard situations where an immediate hazard presents a threat of death or serious injury to employees. For the danger signs in a facility to be OSHA compliant there must be no variation in their design.
OSHA sign colors for danger signs are red, black, and white. OSHA requires that all employees be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions must be taken.
OSHA Signs To Indicate Warnings - Warning signs are used to represent a hazard level between caution and danger. The colors for warning signs are an orange header and a white body. Text is printed in black.
OSHA Signs To Indicate Caution - Caution signs are only used to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices. OSHA requires that employees be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard and that proper precautions must be taken. The standard color of the background sis yellow; and the panel must be black with yellow letters.
OSHA Signs To Indicate Biological Hazards - The phrase "Biological hazard" or "BIOHAZARD" is defined by OSHA as meaning those infectious agents presenting a risk of death, injury or illness to people.
Biological hazard OSHA signs and tags are used to signify the actual or potential presence of a biohazard and to identify equipment, containers, rooms, materials, experimental animals, or combinations thereof, which contain, or are contaminated with, viable hazardous agents. OSHA biological hazard signs are orange and include the biological hazard symbol.
OSHA Signs For Safety Instruction - Safety instruction signs are used where there is a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety. The standard color of the background is white and the header panel is green with white letters. Any text or symbols used in the white area are to be printed in black.
OSHA Sign Design: Sign Construction Requirements - OSHA requires that the signs themselves not present a safety hazard.. All signs must have rounded or blunt corners and be free from sharp edges, burrs, splinters, or other sharp projections. The ends or heads of bolts or other fastening devices are to be located in such a way that they do not constitute a hazard.
OSHA Sign Design: Sign Wording - The wording of signs should be easily read and be concise. However, the sign should contain sufficient information so that it can be easily understood. The wording should make a positive, rather than negative statement and should be factual.
OSHA references the ANSI Z535 requirements for safety signs. Familiarity with this ANSI code is recommended.
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