ISO Safety Symbol Updates Move Forward

Posted by Clarion Safety Systems on 29th Apr 2016

This past month, the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO) held committee meetings in Berlin, Germany, which Clarion had the privilege of participating in.

We’re active members of the leading standards bodies responsible for safety sign standards – the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) domestically and ISO internationally. And, our CEO, Geoffrey Peckham, is chairman of both the ANSI Z535 Committee for Safety Signs and Colors and of ANSI’s U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the ISO standards committee responsible for safety signs, labels, colors and symbols – ISO/TC 145.

ISO/TC 145 standardizes the symbols that appear on products and for use in built environments. These are symbols that indicate windshield wipers and headlights in a car, fast and slow on a lawn tractor, and the location of departure gates and baggage claim at an airport.

At this month’s meetings in Berlin, ISO/TC 145 subcommittee 2 (SC 2) held its working group 1 (WG 1) and working group 3 (WG 3) meetings. These two groups of experts work with topics that affect our daily lives because their subject matter is about safety, specifically symbolic safety communication. The results of the recent meetings were substantive and will have a positive impact on our global society.

Here’s how:

  • WG 1's focus is the registration of standardized safety symbols to visually convey the nature of hazards and how to avoid them. April’s meeting centered on safety symbols being proposed for barbeque grills, ladders, and storm shelters, as well as updates on a wide range of safety symbols including those for use on farm and agricultural equipment. In time, when these symbols become widely used, they’ll add to the committee’s valuable legacy of helping to make the world a safer place.
  • WG 3’s focus is the revision of ISO 16069 Safety Way Guidance Systems, a standard first published in 2004 focusing on emergency egress route markings to guide people out of buildings in crisis situations. The standard is being revised in line with new findings in egress safety, and the April meeting saw progress towards the next step in the revision cycle, moving towards a Draft Information Standard version by the end of the year.

For those that know Clarion, you know that we’re passionate about making the world a safer place – not just through our products but through our standards-based safety sign and label work. Reducing risk and protecting people is the objective we share with our customers and with ISO/TC 145, where we help to make best practices a reality that every company can employ.

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

And, be sure to stay tuned here on the Clarion blog for more as-it-happens access to today’s lead best practices in visual safety communication.