Top 3 Trends in Product Safety Labeling

By Bethany Stadelmann | 18th Feb 2015

This month marks Clarion's 25th year in the field of visual safety communication. We'd like to take a moment to thank the thousands of companies and clients who have chosen Clarion safety signs and labels over the past quarter century. It's been our privilege to serve you and work towards our shared goal: preventing accidents and saving lives from tragedy.

With this landmark in mind, here at Clarion, we've identified what we see as the three major trends – milestones that we're proud to say that we've been a part of – in product safety labeling over the past 25 years. Keep reading, below, for insight straight from our experts!

Top 3 Trends in Safety Labeling

  1. Availability and use of a U.S. best practice standard: The publication of the groundbreaking ANSI Z535.4 Standard for Product Safety Signs and Labels in 1991 was a milestone event for both product users and product manufacturers. For the first time, a standard existed that gave product manufacturers a viable framework to develop the content and format of their product safety labels. The ANSI Z535.4 standard defined a set of components for on-product warnings that provided people with the information they needed to avoid hazards and provided manufacturers and U.S. courts with a legal definition for what constituted an "adequate warning." When used correctly, labels developed to meet the standard help to reduce accidents associated with products and, if an accident does occur, they help to reduce the product manufacturers liability exposure should the adequacy of the warning be challenged.
  2. Development and use of a global best practice standard: The publication in 2004 of the international standard in safety labeling, ISO 3864-2 Graphical symbols Safety colours and safety signs, gave guidelines to manufacturers in nearly all industries for their product safety labels. These rules allowed their warnings (and products) to be accepted globally. This standard represented a major victory for harmonization in the field of safety communication as it included formats that were already established in the ANSI Z535.4 standard.
  3. Use of ISO graphical symbols: Product safety labels need to communicate their information efficiently and effectively. In todays global marketplace, the use of standardized ISO safety symbols is the third major trend in product safety labeling. A huge ISO standardization effort has been underway this past decade to establish a worldwide visual language of graphical symbols to be used on safety signs, labels and markings. This work has been of tremendous benefit to product manufacturers because symbols can overcome language barriers – a key attribute for a global economy and workforce.

To learn more about the latest best practices and standards related to safety labels, take a look at our Learning Center today!