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ANSI Definitions for Danger, Warning, Caution or Notice Signs

When to Use Each Type of Safety Sign Header
Definitions are based on the ANSI Safety Sign Z535.2 standard.

Danger Signs

ANSI Danger Sign
Danger: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury. The signal word "DANGER" is to be limited to the most extreme situations.
When to Use "Danger"
Use for Danger Signs for electrical warnings, confined spaces, poison and severe machine hazards. “Danger”, as a header, is becoming less common versus “Warning” signs. The ANSI definition for when Danger should be used has become ever more restrictive – as a way to avoid overuse and “cry wolf” concerns from the past. The traditional OSHA definition for Danger allows for a far broader use than the updated ANSI standards. Limit Danger to potentially lethal environments.

Warning Signs

ANSI Warning Sign
Warning: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.
When to Use "Warning"
Use Warning Signs for pinch points, arc flash, blocking rules and machine with guards. Limit Warning to personal injury. Do not use this for damage that is to equipment only.

Caution Signs

ANSI Caution Sign
Caution: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in minor or moderate injury.
When to Use "Caution"
Use Caution signs for information on Overhead / Clearance hazards, wet floors, certain PPE requirements and RF hazards. Do not use if there is a chance of death or serious injury or illness. In this case, use a Warning sign. A construction site sign that notifies of a hard hard hat requirement is best ordered as a Warning Sign.

Notice Signs

ANSI Notice Sign
Notice: Indicates information considered important but not hazard related.
When to Use "Notice"
Use for security messages, maintenance and cleaning guidelines, wayfinding information (employee entrance, directions to shipping department, etc.) and instructions to read the reference manual before servicing a machine. Notice signs are typically used for activities that result in property damage (but no personal injury).

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