Which OSHA Sign Header Says the Right Thing?
Are official ANSI / OSHA warning signs right for you? Maybe a "caution sign" is all you need, and if you follow the steps to figure out the likelihood and severity of potential injury then you can find out.
There are four signal words or "hazard classifications" that are used when designing a sign to comply with ANSI standards: danger, warning, caution, and notice.
Each signal word alerts you to a different degree of potential hazard.
Danger is the most severe. A danger sign should be used in the most hazardous situations. If the probability of death or serious injury will occur if the hazardous situation is not avoided.
The next step from "danger" is "warning." Warning signs alert you that death of serious injury COULD occur if the situation is not avoided.
For any chance that moderate or minor injury could occur, we use caution signs. Caution signs take many forms - one of the most popular caution signs are wet floor signs.
Notice signs are used if the worst credible harm is property damage. These are common in the workplace where damage to machinery is likely.
There have been many revisions to how these words should be displayed on your sign, but the colors have not changed. Danger is symbolized using red, warning uses orange, caution uses yellow with black lettering, and notice uses blue with white lettering.
You may spot signs that look OSHA / ANSI compliant that use green backgrounds. These are instructional signs. These are used for emergency eyewash stations, for example.
By choosing the most appropriate signal word for your OSHA and ANSI signs, you can best choose the sign to alert your workforce to any nearby hazard.