Throughout Second World War, a lot of thought went into making sure that important machinery was clearly marked and color-coded according to the standards that were in place at the time. To reduce the risk of “friendly fire,” aircraft were tagged with distinguishing colors or stripes so that they could be easily identified during high-stress military operations. This was merely the start of the requirement for standards!
As we all know, workplace safety is extremely important in any field, and colors are a crucial tool for communicating threats to workers. As a result, uniform color codes have been devised to help reduce accidents by providing an accurate message to all personnel. The term “safety colors” refers to the standard use of colors in the workplace for safety purposes. A variety of organizations, including OSHA, ANSI, and others, have established guidelines for safety colors. Each color has a varied meaning depending on the circumstances, allowing individuals to quickly understand what type of safety concern is present, even when they’re too far away to comprehend any actual lettering.
While numerous organizations and agencies give distinct meanings to safety colors, many of them overlap significantly. This is done on purpose to ensure that standards are applicable in as many scenarios as possible.
Here are some common standard colors which are, used by several organizations, to indicate the level of risk in a prohibited zone. You can easily find barrier tape, underground caution tape, or any other warning label of the following colors securing sites above the ground such as crime scenes or under the ground such as the network of petroleum pipelines.
Red – This is the basic color to indicate . One can easily find this color in places that contain a high risk of injury or death. It is used for the identification of fire suppression and protection equipment. This color is used to alarm the approaching individual to make an emergency stop and not trespass any further toward the area demarcated with this color.
Orange: signs of this color are used to label places which carry an element that can infer moderate to severe injury to the trespasser. This color is particularly given to the Guarding devices.
Yellow: statements are communicated with the use of this color. This color is assigned for places or elements carrying a minor risk of injury. Barrication tapes or other warning labels of this color are used in minor hazard situations where a non-immediate or potential hazard or unsafe practice presents a lesser threat of employee injury. This color is given to materials-handling equipment.
Green: This color is the basic color to convey information about safety equipment that is why this color is commonly given to places that can ensure the safety of an individual. For example sign and equipment are coded with this color.
Blue: This color is given to those prohibited zones which contain no immediate hazard but need no trespassing from anyone other than specific or authorized individuals. Barrier tapes or barricades of this color are used to mark equipment that should not be used.