ISO Safety Communication Update: What You Need to Know

By Clarion Safety Systems | 13th Dec 2016

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) held ISO/TC 145 committee meetings in Delft, Netherlands at the end of November. ISO/TC 145 is the ISO standards committee responsible for safety signs, labels, colors and symbols. With our active involvement and leadership of the leading safety sign standards bodies, Clarion had the privilege of participating in these meetings, including ISO/TC 145 subcommittee 2’s – which focuses on safety identification, signs, shapes, symbols and colors – working group 1 (WG 1) and working group 6 (WG 6) meetings.

The standards related to symbolic safety communication that these two working groups are developing will impact safety communication around the world. It’s work that we’re proud to be a part of – and proud to be able to share with you, our customers and partners in safety.

WG 1's central task is the registration of standardized safety symbols that are meant to visually convey to viewers the nature of hazards and how to avoid them. In addition to moving several new symbol proposals through the working group’s process, November’s meeting centered on two areas:

  • Approving 10 new safety symbols: these new symbols will be adopted into ISO 7010 Graphical symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Registered safety signs shortly, through an amendment to the standard likely to be published before the end of 2016. Hazards identified by these symbols include: warning of an arc flash; indicating the location of a fire protection door; indicating the location of a protection shelter; prohibiting the use of smart glasses; prohibiting intoxicated people from undertaking hazardous actions or activities; and various behaviors related to toboggan use.
  • Beginning discussions on a working draft for ISO/Technical Report 20559, Graphical Symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Code of practice for use of safety signs: This new “code of practice” will be an informative guidance document for best practices in the design and installation of safety sign systems. While the final product is likely three to four years away, Clarion is using our workplace safety communication expertise to be actively involved in the development of this first draft, helping to shape its scope and content.

WG 6’s primary task is the development of a new global standard on pipemarking, ISO 20560-1 – Safety signs – Part 1: Pipemarking – the first of its kind. ISO 20560 will help to bolster safety for personnel, maintenance staff and firefighters in any type of workplace where pipemarking systems are in use – from oil rigs and ships to industrial plants and building complexes. Progress continues to be made in writing this standard, which will be published within the next three years.

To learn more about how ISO uses symbols, vocabulary and color to standardize safety signage on a worldwide basis, watch our short, educational video “ ISO Symbols for Safety Signs and Labels.”

We’ll continue to keep you informed with more as-it-happens access to today’s lead best practices in visual safety communication here on the Clarion blog!