The colors used in your safety labels and safety signs are one of their building block components. To use them effectively in your warnings and instructions – and to implement them in line with today’s best practices – one specific standard stands out: ANSI Z535.1. Keep reading to learn more about how to use safety colors across your machinery and workplace in line with ANSI Z535.1, straight from your team of experts at Clarion Safety!
ANSI Z535.1 is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard that provides guidelines for the use of colors in safety signs, labels, tags, and markings to communicate hazards and safety information. It establishes a set of color codes and specifications that help convey safety messages clearly and consistently across different industries and applications.
Safety Colors Matter?
“Effectively communicating hazards is vital for safety. The use of color can help with comprehension and understanding of safety messages, but it has to be very specifically defined. The orange used in a warning label’s signal word panel has to look like orange. It can’t look like ‘yellowish orange’ or ‘reddish orange’. It’s important to avoid, at a glance, having that color be confused with yellow (which is used in signal word panels for caution situations) or red (which is used in a signal word panel for danger situations),” says Angela Lambert, our head of standards compliance at Clarion Safety Systems.
“ANSI Z535.1 safety colors are tightly defined and should be adhered to for proper color discrimination or color coding. The science behind colors and color stability are an important part of effective communication on equipment safety labels and facility safety signs.”
Safety’s Color Theory Expertise
In addition to working hand in hand on a daily basis with our clients to help implement best practice warnings, you may be familiar with Clarion Safety’s involvement with the best practice (U.S.) ANSI and (international) ISO standards related to visual safety communication. When it comes to color, we have a leadership role in paving the way for continued growth and standardization. Angela Lambert, our head of standards compliance here at Clarion Safety, is the chair of the ANSI Z535.1 subcommittee, in addition to being a delegate representative to the ANSI Z535 committee, and a delegate representative to ANSI for the ISO/TC 145 SC2 WG 1 committee.
Safety Color Resources
We not only help lead the standards you want to meet; we’re committed to helping you stay informed ontoday’s visual safety communication best practices, including ANSI Z535 and ISO 3864-2. Here are our current color and ANSI-specific resources available to help:
- Read our in-depth articles on ANSI Z535 and on ANSI Z535.1
- Watch our video on ANSI Z535 and its requirements
- Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest compliance news, including updates to the ANSI Z535 family of standards
Help with Your Specific Warnings Needs
Enjoy our safety resources – and know that we’re here to help at any time with your specific needs! At Clarion Safety, we focus on a hands-on approach to guide our customers to safety sign and label choices in line with their needs AND the latest standards. Our customer service team is "Clarion Essentials" certified, a proprietary, standards-based education curriculum. That means that our staff members are trained and ready to work together with you – whether you’re ready to customize a label or sign product or are looking to start with a free safety label or sign assessment.
Have a question on how to best apply color and color theories to your warnings and instructions? Reach out to us today.