SIGNS AND LABELS – COLOR CODING FOR SAFETY
Humans are visual creatures. We are geared to perceive our environment through our primary sense - vision. We are able to see, interpret, and catalog enormous amounts of data in a fraction of a second. According to research by the 3M Corporation, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. These visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Knowing this, shouldn’t we incorporate visual reminders into our safety program?
One of the easiest ways to enhance your safety program with visuals is by using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) color coding scheme. These colors are able to alert workers of potential hazards and other workplace policies with just a glance. Also, colors are a universal language. It does not matter if someone cannot read or understand English as long as they understand what the colors represent. By adding a color scheme to your hazardous areas, you are ensuring your employees know what dangers are present.
Attached to this Safety Alert is a handout that explains what each color represents. The first two pages is for the instructor to use, and the last two pages are handouts for the employees to use during the safety talk. As you go through this alert, take the time to evaluate your area to see where you could add color coding to enhance your safety program.