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American National Standards Institute ANSI

Quality Insider

Silently Guiding Safety: Revised ANSI Standards for Safety Signs and Colors

Comprehensive guides for hazard signs and symbols

Published: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 10:36

(ANSI: Washington, D.C.) -- High voltage… biohazard… wet floor… radioactive materials… the effectiveness of safety signs like these relies on consistency and bold, graphic impact to warn people against specific hazards and personal injury. Six recently revised American National Standards (ANS) from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) guide the communication of safety information in public spaces, the workplace, and for a range of industrial and consumer products.

Serious about safety

The ANSI Z535 Set is a comprehensive collection of standards guiding the design, evaluation, and use of safety signs, colors, and symbols intended to prevent personal injury by visually alerting people to potential hazards:

ANSI/NEMA Z535.1-2006 (R2011)—“Safety colors”
This ANS establishes technical definitions, color standards, and color tolerances for the ANSI Z535 safety colors.

ANSI Z535.2-2011—“Environmental and facility safety signs”
This standard guides the design, application, and use of safety signs in facilities and in the environment through consistent visual layout. Reorganized to more clearly describe the five types of safety signs used in facilities, the 2011 edition has also been updated to better harmonize with other parts of the ANSI Z535 series.

ANSI/NEMA Z535.3-2011—“Criteria for safety symbols”
This document provides general criteria for the design, evaluation, and use of safety symbols to identify and warn against specific hazards, and to provide information to avoid personal injury.

ANSI/NEMA Z535.4-2011—“Product safety signs and labels”
ANSI/NEMA Z535.4-2011 establishes performance requirements for the design, application, use, and placement of safety signs and labels on a wide variety of products. Revisions to the standard include a new product safety sign, as well as updated definitions to more clearly delineate a separation between physical injury and other safety-related issues.

ANSI/NEMA Z535.5-2011—“Safety tags and barricade tapes (for temporary hazards)”
This ANS covers the design, application, and use of safety tags and barricade tapes for temporary hazards.

ANSI/NEMA Z535.6-2011—“Product safety information in product manuals, instructions, and other collateral materials”
ANSI/NEMA Z535.6 lays out requirements for the clear and consistent communication of safety information for a wide array of products. Specifically, the standard addresses collateral information, which includes printed or electronic documents that accompany a product in the form of owner’s manuals, maintenance instructions, assembly instructions, and user guides. ANSI Z535.6-2006 seeks to establish a uniform layout to ensure that important safety information will be communicated effectively and consistently with other safety signs and labels that might also be in use.

ANSI/NEMA Z535-2011—“Safety color chart”
The safety color chart includes updated and corrected information on ink specifications for the Z535 safety colors.

ANSI/NEMA Z535 SET revises ANSI Z535 SERIES. This comprehensive collection includes all six parts and the color chart.

NEMA is a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). NEMA’s accredited standards committee, ASC Z535—”Safety Signs and Colors,” develops standards for the design, application, and use of signs, colors, and symbols intended to identify and warn against specific hazards and for other accident prevention purposes.


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American National Standards Institute ANSI’s picture

American National Standards Institute ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, serving the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).