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Globally Accepted Safety Signages Design

(2 minutes read)

Globally accepted safety signs are universally recognized symbols that communicate essential safety information across language barriers. They play a crucial role in promoting workplace safety by providing clear and concise messages about potential hazards, mandatory actions, and emergency procedures. These signs ensure consistency and clarity in safety communication on a global scale.

Stop using these Safety Signages

Older and inconsistent design are known to create confusion to workers and are now widely discontinued. The color combinations and background designs used in the signal word panels shown no longer meet the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535.

What is ANSI Z535?

ANSI Z535 is a series of standards developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) that provide guidelines for safety signs. ANSI Z535 standards cover aspects such as sign design, colors, symbols, and formats, helping organizations create clear and easily understandable safety messages for workers and the general public. These standards are formally revised every five years with the most recent publication last October 2017.

“ANSI’s Z535 signal words and associated design standards are crafted to interface seamlessly with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – making ANSI’s DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION and NOTICE standards the most widely used and accepted in the world.”


How are Safety Signages Should Look?

The ANSI Z535 Format comprises a Safety Alert Symbol, which is followed by a Signal Word indicating the severity of the hazard as explained below. The section underneath the signal word is designated for the Hazard Message and the Action/Avoidance Message. Additionally, Safety Symbols may be incorporated on the message panel to facilitate prompt identification of the hazard from a safe distance.


  • Danger: Signals a potentially life-threatening situation that, if not evaded, could lead to fatality or severe harm.
  • Warning: Represents a perilous circumstance which, if not avoided, may cause significant injury.
  • Caution: Depicts a hazardous condition that, if not heeded, might result in minor or moderate injuries.
  • Notice: Signifies a non-hazardous message, typically used for housekeeping guidelines.
  • Safety: Conveys overall instructions for maintaining safe working procedures.

For optimal results, it is advisable to refrain from using prepositional phrases. Instead, opt for a Sans Serif bold font type to ensure clear visibility and legibility. To enhance readability, align the text to the left. Additionally, employing a combination of upper and lower case letters is recommended, as it facilitates easier comprehension. Save the use of all uppercase letters exclusively for emphasis purposes, thereby maintaining their impact and significance.

How to Ensure Compliance?

To ensure compliance with ANSI Z535 standards:

1. Understand the ANSI Z535 standards, including the different parts.
2. Implement the ANSI Z535 format for safety communication materials.
3. Follow the guidelines for safety colors specified in ANSI Z535.1.
4. Use clear and concise messages, avoiding complex language.
5. Incorporate standardized symbols from ANSI Z535.3 when applicable.
6. Regularly review and update safety communications to reflect changes.

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