New Changes Coming To ANSI Z535, Key Standards For Safety Signs, Labels And Symbols

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Clarion Safety Systems shares update from the latest American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535 standards committee meeting held virtually in February 2021

ANSI Z535 safety label

An example of an ANSI Z535 product safety label placed on a guard on a piece of equipment (Label design ©Clarion Safety Systems. All rights reserved.)

This is a key year for ANSI Z535, as the standards are due to be finalized at the end of 2021, and republished in early 2022.

Clarion Safety Systems, a leading manufacturer of safety labels, signs and tags, is pleased to share an update from the February 2021 meetings of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535 standards committee. This is the U.S. group in charge of the standards written for safety colors, safety signs, safety symbols, product safety labels, safety tags, and how safety information is presented in product manuals.

Clarion Safety’s director of standards compliance initiatives, Angela Lambert, attended the meetings, which were held virtually on February 17 and 18. Lambert is a delegate representative for ANSI, and the chair of the ANSI Z535.1 subcommittee. Prior to this, the ANSI Z535 committee last met in February 2020 in Orlando, Florida, when a portion of the meeting focused on leadership and succession planning. That included the nomination of Steven Hall as chair and Judi Isaacson as vice chair. The long-time leaders in those positions, Clarion Safety’s founder, Geoffrey Peckham as chair, and vice chair, Paul Frantz, had made the decision to step down after eight years of service.

ANSI Z535 is an American standard that provides a system for presenting safety and accident prevention information. This U.S. standards‐making body writes standards that govern the characteristics of visual safety markings that are used to warn about hazards and prevent accidents. The current ANSI Z535 standards is a family of six standards that cover the formatting, colors and symbols used for safety signs, labels, tags and markings and how safety information is presented in instruction manuals.

A major topic of discussion at this year’s meeting was the next revision of the ANSI Z535 standards, and expected changes.

“This is a key year for ANSI Z535, as the standards are due to be finalized at the end of 2021, and republished in early 2022,” Lambert says. “The committee as a whole, as well as each standard's subcommittee, are working to define and refine the best practices related to communicating safety in order to help protect people from harm.”

A few of the highlights from the committee meetings and timelines/expectations for the standards include:

  • Change proposals for each standard – including ‘global’ (encompassing all six of the standards) and standard-specific proposals – were discussed at the meetings and will be reviewed and balloted on between April and July 2021.
  • Four global change proposals were reviewed, all but one of which were proposed by Peckham, prior to his recent retirement from the committee. Several of these are related to items which intend to harmonize ANSI Z535 with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) global standards.
  • While the ANSI Z535.1, ANSI Z535.2 and ANSI Z535.5 standards have no change proposals, the ANSI Z535.3, ANSI Z535.4 and ANSI Z535.6 standards each have proposals, many of which require significant discussion by the committee on whether and how to adopt.
  • A new standard – ANSI Z535.7 – for safety information in electronic media is in development. Its scope is expected to include video materials, webpages, smartphones/tablets, and virtual reality.

As a company, Clarion Safety is a longstanding and active member of both the U.S. and international standards bodies responsible for safety signs and labels. For over 30 years, Clarion Safety has been a member of the ANSI Z535 committee, and for over 20 years, has been a member of ISO/TC 145, a key international safety sign and label standards-writing committee, and the one tasked with standardizing symbols in the ISO 7010 library. Peckham was recently reappointed to a second term as chair of ISO/TC 145.

To learn more about Clarion Safety and its history in the field of visual safety communication, visit the company’s website.

Clarion Safety also accepts media inquiries and speaking opportunities related to safety and risk. To submit a media inquiry, visit the company’s “Newsroom” and select the “For the Media” tab.

ABOUT CLARION SAFETY SYSTEMS
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 Safety 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. The company also provides complementary services for comprehensive machine safety, compliance and risk reduction. Founded in 1990, Clarion Safety continues to play a leading role in the development and writing of international and national standards for safety signs, labels, and markings. It is headquartered at 190 Old Milford Road in Milford, PA, 18337, and online at http://www.clarionsafety.com.

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Erin Earley
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