What are the OSHA signs and symbols in the workplace?

OSHA has the 29 CFR 1910.145 guideline for tags and signs for hazard identification as well as design requirements and when safety signages should be used.However, it is the ANSI Z535 that elaborates on the design elements for compliance. According to both ANSI and OSHA, there are 3 primary safety sign classifications based on severity:

  • Danger signs indicate the presence of the most serious hazard with a high possibility of seriously injuring or even killing someone who fails to avoid or take special precautions. A white “DANGER” word with a safety alert symbol is printed on a header with a red background.
  • Warning signs are used for informing people of a hazard that might seriously injure or even kill someone, but the overall risk of a warning sign hazard is not as severe as that of danger sign hazards. A black “WARNING” with a safety alert symbol is printed on a header with an orange background.
  • Caution signs are hazards that might result in moderate or minor injuries if not avoided. A black “CAUTION” with a safety alert symbol is printed on a yellow background header.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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