Workplace Safety Signs
Employees Only Signs
Keep potential accidents and liabilities to a minimum by notifying the public of the area
Colors can help employees quickly determine the type of hazard present in any given situation. The color of the sign will also help them decide how to respond to and approach the situation. It's important to be consistent with your color usage throughout the facility.
Red identifies FIRE, DANGER, or STOP. It is most commonly used in flammable liquid identification, emergency stop switches, and fire protection equipment. Danger indicates an immediately hazardous situation that could cause death or serious injury.
Orange indicates WARNING. Orange identifies hazardous equipment or situations. Common uses include marking machine hazards that pose cut, crush, or pinch injuries and for marking the insides of movable guards that allow access to gears, chains, and the like. Warning indicates a potentially hazardous situation that could result in death or serious injury.
Yellow denotes CAUTION. Used with black lettering, yellow identifies hazards such as conditions that might result in tripping or falling or flammable materials storage. Caution indicates a potentially hazardous situation that may result in moderate injury.
Green denotes SAFETY. Green identifies the location of safety equipment, material safety data sheets, and first aid equipment.
Blue indicates NOTICE. It is the color that identifies safety information signs, such as PPE requirements.
You aren't necessarily always required to use these safety colors, but it's a good idea for your company to have set parameters for sign color. Also note that OSHA does identify when to use red and yellow in 29 CFR 1910.144.
Shapes and symbols
Shapes and Symbols In addition to sign color coding, symbols and shapes also contribute to a sign's meaning. These are essential to sign viewers. Certain sign shapes are used to convey specific information:
Triangle- or diamond-shaped signs are used for hazard alerts and will usually use orange or yellow for their color.
Circular symbols are mandatory actions, such as those used to inform workers of the necessity for PPE, and are typically blue.
Square- or rectangular-shaped signs provide information. For example, signs indicating safety equipment locations would be found in a square or rectangle and are usually green.
Certain workplace prohibitions may be identified by posting a sign containing a symbol in a circle with a slash going from the upper left to lower right (e.g., a no smoking sign).