ANSI Z535 Undergoes First Major Revision in Over Ten Years

By Clarion Safety Systems | 30th Jun 2021

The revision process for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535 standards has been continuing this spring and summer. Here at Clarion Safety, we’re proud to be a part of this important work, as well as to be able to keep you – our clients and partners in safety – up-to-date on what’s occurring behind the scenes in the standards arena and how it may impact visual safety communication.

ANSI Z535 and Its Revision Cycle
ANSI Z535 is an important U.S. group for visual safety communication as it’s in charge of the standards written for safety colors, safety symbols, safety signs, product safety labels, safety tags, and safety information in product manuals.

These standards are on a five year revision cycle. Since the ANSI Z535 standards were reaffirmed without changes at the last five year mark, this will mean the next publication will be the first time the standards have been significantly revised in a decade.

“This is a key year for ANSI Z535, as the standards are due to be finalized in December 2021, and republished in January 2022,” says Angela Lambert, our director of standards compliance. “The committee as a whole, as well as each standard's subcommittee, are working to define and refine the best practices related to communicating safety in order to help protect people from harm.”

Our Continued ANSI Z535 Leadership
In addition to our ISO standards leadership, at Clarion Safety, we’ve been members of the ANSI Z535 committee for more than 30 years. In fact, our company’s founder, Geoffrey Peckham, was chair of the main committee for nearly a decade, from 2011-2020. Our involvement in ANSI continues today through Angela’s work, as she’s not only Clarion Safety’s ANSI Z535 delegate representative, but is also the chair of the ANSI Z535.1 subcommittee. Angela has been working on the update process for ANSI Z535.1, but also as a committee member on the ‘intramural balloting’ process – how votes are made related to changes to the full series of standards.

ANSI Z535: What to Expect
While voting is still underway, here are some of the timelines and expectations for the standards that we can share to date:

  • In July 2021: The balloting period is completed. Change proposals for each standard – including ‘global’ (encompassing all six of the standards) and standard-specific proposals – are now being reviewed and voted on.
    • Several of these global change proposals are related to items that intend to harmonize ANSI Z535 with the ISO standards.
    • The ANSI Z535.3, ANSI Z535.4, ANSI Z535.5 standards all have change proposals under consideration, many of which require significant discussion by the committee on whether and how to adopt.
  • In December 2021: All standards revisions are finalized.
  • In January 2022: The revised standards are published and available (with a 2021 approval date).

We look forward to receiving the results from this ANSI voting process, and encourage you to stay tuned as we bring you more news on the best practices and standards for visual safety communication. In the meantime, have a question about ANSI Z535 and how it relates to safety for your products or workplace? We’re here to help. Reach out to us today!