Leading Electrical Engineering Publication Features Insight From Clarion Safety Systems On New Safety Label Format Solutions

Clarion’s design for a wordless barbeque grill safety label

Clarion’s design for a wordless barbeque grill safety label that includes a hazard severity level panel, a safety symbol that defines the nature of the hazard, and supplementary safety symbols

For product manufacturers who want to convey these types of complex messages in ‘symbol-only’ formats because their intended audience is global, there’s now a new wordless format option available.

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Clarion Safety Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of safety signs and safety labels, shares insight in the latest issue of In Compliance Magazine, a top resource for electrical engineering professionals, on new product safety label format solutions now available to graphically convey complex messages.

Clarion’s knowledge and perspective is informed by nearly three decades of experience serving its customers, as well as its deep involvement in the ANSI and ISO standards committees related to safety signs and labels. In fact, the company’s founder, Geoffrey Peckham, is chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/TC 145, and is chair-elect for the full ISO/TC 145 committee. ISO/TC 145 is responsible for writing and revising the principal international standard for product safety labels, ISO 3864-2 Graphical symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Part 2: Design principles for product safety labels.

“In our design experience working with our customers, we’ve found that product safety label content can become complex when there are several elements to explain what the hazard is and how to avoid it,” says Angela Lambert, Director of Standards Compliance at Clarion. “For product manufacturers who want to convey these types of complex messages in ‘symbol-only’ formats because their intended audience is global, there’s now a new wordless format option available.”

Lambert is referring to a December 2016 update to ISO 3864-2, which included a significant modification to the standard: the addition of a new “wordless” format that conveys risk severity. This label format uses what ISO terms a “hazard severity panel” but no signal word. In place of words, the level of risk is communicated through color-coding of the hazard severity panel. ISO-formatted symbols as well as what ISO calls “supplementary safety symbols” – symbols without an ISO-colored surround shape – can be used. According to ISO, product safety labels must use at least one ISO-formatted safety symbol, while additional supplementary symbols may be included.

In the article, Clarion uses an example from the barbeque grill industry to illustrate potential new solutions for conveying complex messages, and referred to a label design the company created as part of their work for ISO/TC 145.

The barbeque grill industry had a need for a safety symbol that would warn people not to use grills in enclosed spaces like vehicles, houses or tents. Clarion volunteered its design department’s skills to the ISO technical committee representing the barbeque grill industry to develop a new label design using the ISO 3864-2:2016 wordless format and supplementary safety symbols.

“The ANSI and ISO standards for product safety labels contain multiple options for formats because the standards committees who write these standards and keep them up to date recognize that there’s no single safety label format that is suitable for all types of products and all types of safety messages. The approach shown for the barbeque grill industry is a new one which takes a high degree of illustration skill to accomplish, but if done well, opens up a new world for communicating safety to a global audience,” according to Clarion.

In Compliance delivers the latest news, standards updates, technical explanations and guidance for engineers and Clarion provides insight for the magazine’s “On Your Mark” series. “On Your Mark” is a regular column that readers have enjoyed for six years running, discussing the best practices and cutting-edge trends in product safety labeling.

The full article is available through In Compliance Magazine’s website. To learn more about the latest best practices for product safety labels, visit Clarion’s online Learning Center or watch its short, educational videos on “Effective Safety Symbols, Signs and Labels” and “ISO Symbols for Safety Signs and Labels.” Clarion also offers safety label assessments, where they work with companies to evaluate their labels, including reviewing the latest ANSI and ISO standards.

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 http://www.clarionsafety.com.

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