Safety labels in the workplace play a crucial role in preventing bodily injury, equipment damage, and litigation cases. Here, we outline where and how you should display safety labels in your workplace.
Machine Safety Labels
Safety labels should be prominently displayed on any heavy equipment or machinery. According to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) specifications, safety labels should include a pictogram and a signal word, such as:
- CAUTION (minor or moderate injury could occur – should appear in yellow)
- WARNING (death or serious injury could occur – should appear in orange)
- DANGER (death or serious injury WILL occur – should appear in red)
Below or to the side should be a brief, effective description of:
- the nature of the hazard
- consequences of the hazard
- how to avoid the hazard
Facility Safety Labels
These labels may appear around your workplace to remind employees about basic safety measures, such as wearing proper footwear or keeping a door closed. ANSI specifications are flexible for these types of labels, but generally they should include a pictogram and the signal word NOTICE, along with a brief description of the required action. These labels should be blue in color.
Chemical Safety Labels
The importance of properly labeling hazardous chemicals cannot be underestimated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all hazardous chemical labels include the following:
- Signal word (CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER – see above)
- Product identification (name of chemical)
- Brief description of:
- Nature of hazard
- Consequences of hazard
- How to avoid or minimize the effects of hazard
- Name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer
Fire Equipment & Exit Labels
These labels are very important in keeping your workplace up to code and in times of emergency. Fire equipment labels should be red and should identify the equipment in large block letters (i.e. FIRE EXTINGUISHER). They can also include a pictogram and a brief description of how to use the equipment. Mark any fire safety exits with red labels as well.
Exit labels should simply say EXIT and should be placed above doorways and entryways that provide an exit route. They should appear in green or, most ideally, be illuminated by a green backlight.
At U.S. Nameplate Co. we want to keep your workplace safe with effective, up-to-code safety labels. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us, and be sure to watch for our next post, where we will guide you step-by-step through designing a custom safety label.