ANSI Z535

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ANSI Z535 is an American standard that sets forth a system for presenting safety and accident prevention information. It corresponds to (but is not fully compatible with) the international ISO 3864 standard.


The ANSI Z535 standard comprises the following six individual standards:

  • ANSI Z535.1 American National Standard for Safety Colors
  • ANSI Z535.2 American National Standard for Environmental and Facility Safety Signs
  • ANSI Z535.3 American National Standard for Criteria for Safety Symbols
  • ANSI Z535.4 American National Standard for Product Safety Signs and Labels
  • ANSI Z535.5 American National Standard for Safety Tags and Barricade Tapes (for Temporary Hazards)
  • ANSI Z535.6 American National Standard for Product Safety Information in Product Manuals, Instructions, and Other Collateral Materials


The ANSI Z535 standard series is continually improved and refined based on human factors research and court case precedents. Every five years these standards are formally revised with the most recent publication on September 15, 2011.

These standards have been developed and formulated by the ANSI Z535 committee, originally formed in 1979 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute. This committee is a highly active United States standards-making body that writes these standards to govern the characteristics of visual safety markings that are used to warn about hazards and prevent accidents. Gary Bell led this committee for more than two decades and, as of January 2012, the chairmanship is now held by Geoffrey Peckham, President of Clarion Safety Systems.

ANSI Z535-style communications are becoming more prevalent in society. Identified by their use of the signal words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION, NOTICE, or SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS, ANSI-style signs most often include specific details about the nature of the hazard, the consequence of interaction with the hazard, and avoidance procedures. Product manufacturers and facility owners in a wide array of industries use the ANSI Z535 standards in their efforts to assure a safer workplace and the safe use of their products so both accidents and lawsuits are minimized.

The ANSI Z535 standards are often cited in U.S. court decisions as the state-of-the-art benchmark against which safety markings and their adequacy are judged.

The ANSI Z535 standards are administered and published by NEMA the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, an association of member companies that manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems.[1] NEMA is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

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