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These key design elements have been extracted from the American National Standards Z535 series of documents and presented in an abbreviated in form. One or likely multiple elements can be used in the design and development process. The full context of information is available in the standards themselves.


A format or shape may be chosen for use in vertical or horizontal presentations. Other formats can include options for bi-lingual, multi-panel or multi-hazard uses. Surround shapes such as triangles or circles are common in ISO presentations.

Signal Words and Colors

The choice of the signal word indicates the level of the hazard. Each signal word should be presented with a corresponding panel color and the triangular “alert” symbol. Use of the correct signal word is determined by the definition of its meaning and by a survey of the location and nature of the hazard.

Word Message

Word messages should be brief yet clearly communicate. The purpose of the word message is to: state the nature of the hazard, state how to avoid the hazard, state the consequences of interaction with the hazard.

Safety Symbols

A safety symbol can be the element which most easily and successfully conveys a hazard or potential remedy. It can transcend language, literacy or comprehension barriers. Nutron has an extensive library of safety symbols. Some have been tested for communication value while others are commonly used in various industries.

Materials and Application

Manufacturers should take into account the expected life of their product when specifying the material and construction of safety and warning messages.

The recommended options are:

  1. The durability be sufficient to last the expected life of the product.
  2. Provisions be made for periodic replacement of safety messages as is necessary.

Getting Started

Manufacturers’ products are different in many ways. And no one will be more knowledgeable of the characteristics of a product than you, the manufacturer. The process of identification and evaluation of potential hazard points are basically the same. First a SURVEY is conducted that is followed by a PROCEDURE, a 6-step process using the key elements.

Contact us for help with the process.

Also Available Pre-Formatted Safety Identification

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