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What Safety Sign Design to Choose?

ANSI Traditional OSHA
Prevalence of designs 10% of market 90% of Market
Common uses
  • Utility warnings
  • Equipment Warning Labels
  • PPE notices
  • General use
Advantages
  • Area for detailed or bilingual messages
  • Clear consequence and hazard avoidance statements
  • Most common, familiar, and tested system
  • Short headers are quickly understood
  • Large library of stock designs.
Disadvantages
  • Overuse of warning headers
  • Too often designed by lawyers
  • Reliance on untested symbols
  • Overuse of danger headers
  • Lower legibility for complex warnings.
Many different safety sign systems continue to coexist, but the design principles remain the same. Click on our OSHA or ANSI guides to learn how to design an effective safety sign.
OSHA Safety Sign Standard
OSHA standards are changing to permit signs designed according to ANSI Z535 standards. Learn about when to use traditional or ANSI safety designs — and why the traditional signs still dominate the market.

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