NEMA Features Insight From Clarion Safety Systems On Laser Product Safety Labels In Its Electroindustry Publication

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Expertise from Clarion Safety Systems’ CEO Geoffrey Peckham on symbols used in safety labels for laser products has been featured in NEMA’s eiXtra bi-weekly newsletter

Alternate style IEC laser safety label with explanatory information incorporated into the label

The increased use of symbols – when combined with precise use of severity level panels to define risk, and clear, concise text messages – represents the new era in safety signs and labels.

Clarion Safety Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of safety signs and safety labels, has been featured in the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) newsletter, eiXtra, with an article, “Understanding Symbols: Laser Labels.”

The eiXtra e-newsletter provides electroindustry professionals with manufacturer, regulatory, and standardization news. The publication is a bi-monthly email newsletter that supplements ei, NEMA’s monthly print magazine.

Geoffrey Peckham, CEO of Clarion Safety Systems, contributed this featured guest column to the newsletter regarding safety labels for laser products. When it comes to the history and progress of formats and symbols related to the safety labels used on laser products, manufacturers face a dilemma: comply with U.S. regulations or meet internationally-accepted standards. The article explores the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)-compliant laser labels (for U.S. markets) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)-compliant laser labels (for international markets). The article also then describes the future in laser labeling: a new harmonized format.

“My long-term involvement on the ANSI Z535 and ISO/TC 145 committees has helped to achieve harmonization in the area of product safety labeling so product manufacturers in a multitude of industries are able to adopt a single safety label system for their products worldwide. For laser safety labeling, this has not happened,” says Peckham.

“Yet the 2014 edition of IEC 60825-1 presents engineers with a new symbol-based format that better conveys laser safety information across language barriers and uses ANSI Z535-style color-coded severity level panels to denote varying levels of risk.”

The article explores how a new IEC format offers the promise of harmonization between U.S. and international standards for laser safety labeling and discusses the growing trend now occurring in the field of on-product safety labeling; industries are shifting to a greater reliance on symbols to communicate and draw attention to safety messages. The increased use of symbols – when combined with precise use of severity level panels to define risk, and clear, concise text messages – represents the new era in safety signs and labels.

Peckham’s credentials include currently serving as chair of both the ANSI Z535 Committee for Safety Signs and Colors and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 145 – Graphical Symbols. He has also been selected as a member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/PC 283, an ISO committee writing a new standard, ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, which will, when finished, define global best practices for workplace safety.

In the past, Peckham has contributed to NEMA’s ei print magazine, as well as to its NEMAcast podcast program.

To learn more about the latest developments in product safety labeling, visit Clarion’s website or watch its short, educational video on “Effective Safety Symbols, Signs and Labels.”

Additional up-to-date information about CDRH and IEC-compliant laser labeling – as well as on finding the laser labels that meet manufacturers’ requirements – can be found in Clarion’s online safety label Learning Center.

Clarion Safety Systems, LLC, is the leading designer and manufacturer of visual safety solutions that help customers in more than 180 industries worldwide to make their products and premises safer. Clarion offers a full range of standard and custom products including machinery safety labels, environmental and facility safety signs, pipe and valve identification markings, lockout/tagout products, and safety-grade photoluminescent egress path-marking escape systems. Founded in 1990, the company continues to play a leading role in the development and writing of international and national standards for safety signs, labels, and markings. Clarion is headquartered at 190 Old Milford Road in Milford, PA, 18337, and online at

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia, its 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, and end use of electricity as well as medical diagnostic imaging.

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Erin Earley
Clarion Safety Systems
+1 570-296-5686 Ext: 228
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