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Safety Label Format Solutions for Solving Complex Messaging Challenges

Posted by Clarion Safety Systems on 8th Dec 2017

The content for your product safety labels can become complex when there are several elements involved in explaining what the hazard is and how to avoid it. But, with the latest update to ISO 3864-2 came a significant modification to the standard that provides a solution to consider in these situations: the new “wordless” format that conveys risk severity.

Wordless Label Format

The wordless label format uses what ISO calls a “hazard severity panel” but no signal word. In place of words, the level of risk is communicated through color-coding of the hazard severity panel. ISO-formatted symbols as well as what ISO calls “supplementary safety symbols” – symbols without an ISO-colored surround shape – can be used.

As an example, let’s look at a label design that we created here at Clarion as part of our standards work with ISO/TC 145 –

When the barbeque grill industry had a need for a safety symbol that would warn people not to use grills in enclosed spaces, Clarion volunteered its design department’s skills to develop a new label design, shown below, using the ISO 3864-2:2016 wordless format.

ISO Wordless Format

It includes a hazard severity level panel, a safety symbol that defines the nature of the hazard, and supplementary safety symbols that indicate “misuse” and “proper use” instructional information to keep people safe from harm. Much like the step-by-step graphic instructions you might see for removing an emergency exit door on an airplane this barbeque grill product safety label uses multiple graphics in a progressively illustrated design to communicate a complex message.

To learn more about how the wordless format can help solve complex messaging challenges, be sure to read our recent article featured in  InCompliance Magazine.

There are multiple format options allowed by the ANSI and ISO standards, and it’s important to understand your choices – like this wordless option – so you can make the best decisions for your products or market. Unsure where to start? We’re always  here to help!

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