By Clare Naden
Safety signs are essential for preventing accidents and injury. Symbols that are internationally agreed and globally used in safety signs ensure clarity and consistency, regardless of language, culture or setting. The ISO standard that is a reference for safety signs has just been updated to incorporate new safety signs that are in use around the world.
From no-go areas on construction sites to emergency exits, ISO 7010, Graphical symbols — Safety colours and safety signs —Registered safety signs, prescribes safety signs for the purposes of accident prevention, fire protection, health hazard information and emergency evacuation.
It features the shape and colour of the sign as referenced in ISO 3864-1, Graphical symbols — Safety colours and safety signs — Part 1: Design principles for safety signs and safety markings, and the design of the symbol is according to ISO 3864-3, Graphical symbols — Safety colours and safety signs — Part 3: Design principles for graphical symbols for use in safety signs.
Jan-Bernd Stell, Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, said lack of harmonization and standardization in this area could lead to confusion and accidents.
“International standardization of safety signs means everyone speaks the same language when it comes to safety. This provides a simple solution for everyone, both in workplaces and public areas like airports where many nationalities converge.
Examples of safety signs documented in the standard include everything from warnings around deep water, electricity or barbed wire to instructions such as ‘do not walk or stand here’, or to not use lifts in the event of a fire.”