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.