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Safety Labels: Danger Labels & Signs

Written by Steve Hudgik

Standard danger sign

DANGER labels and signs identify an immediate hazard. These compliance signs inform people about the hazard and provide a description of any precautions that should be taken. These can include establish safety zones, requiring PPE, requiring that specified procedures be followed, limiting who may enter an area or who may perform certain work, or they may include other precautions.

OSHA code states that there can be no variation in the design of labels and signs posted to warn of specific dangers. There are various ways to design a DANGER compliance label or sign. Once you have determined the design you wish to use, you must always use that same design for the specific danger.

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Two commonly used DANGER label and sign designs are shown here.

Arc Flash Danger Warning Label

In both cases the word "DANGER" is printed in bold white letters across the top of the safety label or sign. The "Pinch Point" DANGER sign above shows the most commonly used design. It has a black header with the word "DANGER" on a red oval. The arc flash danger label to the right shows a design that uses an all red header with white printing.

The body of the sign should be white with the message printed in black. Pictograms, which quickly communicate a message, may be included along with the text message.

Although OSHA only requires that each type of specific hazard use consistent label and sign designs, it is best to select the design you wish to use and then use that design for all DANGER labels and signs throughout your facility.

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