ANSI Standard Danger Alerts and Graphic Warning Images

CAUTION: Slip hazard. Floor is slippery when wet. Watch your step.
CAUTION: Slip hazard.
Floor is slippery when wet.
Watch your step.

Working around machinery, equipment, and industrial chemicals has long been hazardous to life and limb. To reduce workplace accidents and injuries, a series of standard safety signs were created and adopted by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

CAUTION: PINCH POINT. Keep hands clear. Do not operate with cover removed.
CAUTION: PINCH POINT.
Keep hands clear.
Do not operate with cover removed.

By standardizing the warnings:

WARNING: Crush hazards. Hard hats must be worn in this area.
WARNING: Crush hazards.
Hard hats must be worn in this area.

There are two things that are great about the images in these signs:

  • An illiterate or non-native reader does not need to rely on reading the language to understand the hazard.
  • The graphic depictions are visually shocking. They look so painful to receive attention. They communicate the seriousness of the danger, thus reducing the likelihood of the operator ignoring warnings.
WARNING: Crush hazard. Do not operate with guard removed. Follow lockout procedure before servicing.
WARNING: Crush hazard.
Do not operate with guard removed.
Follow lockout procedure before servicing.

DANGER: Moving parts can crush and cut. Keep hands clear. Follow lockout procedure before servicing.
DANGER: Moving parts can crush and cut.
Keep hands clear.
Follow lockout procedure before servicing.

DANGER: Impact hazard. Stay clear of this area during operation. Machine may start automatically.
DANGER: Impact hazard.
Stay clear of this area during operation.
Machine may start automatically.

CAUTION: Do NOT weld. Sensitive electronic devices.
CAUTION: Do NOT weld.
Sensitive electronic devices.

WARNING: Trip hazard. Watch your step.
WARNING: Trip hazard.
Watch your step.

WARNING: Explosion hazard. Hot steam and liquid may escape when door is open. Bleed off pressure before opening door.
WARNING: Explosion hazard.
Hot steam and liquid may escape when door is open.
Bleed off pressure before opening door.

DANGER: STAY CLEAR. Explosion relief vet. You may be injured by a fire ball, flying debris or loud noise.
DANGER: STAY CLEAR.
Explosion relief vet.
You may be injured by a fire ball, flying debris or loud noise.

DANGER: Chain moving parts can crush and cut. Do not operate with guard removed. Follow lockout procedure before servicing.
DANGER: Chain moving parts can crush and cut.
Do not operate with guard removed.
Follow lockout procedure before servicing.

WARNING: Moving parts can crush and cut. Do not operate with guard remove. Follow lockout procedure before servicing.
WARNING: Moving parts can crush and cut.
Do not operate with guard remove.
Follow lockout procedure before servicing.

WARNING: Rotating cutter head. Do NOT operate with guard removed. Lockout/tagout before servicing.
WARNING: Rotating cutter head.
Do NOT operate with guard removed.
Lockout/tagout before servicing.

WARNING: Sharp needles. Keep hands clear.
WARNING: Sharp needles.
Keep hands clear.

The signs above are genuine ANSI signs. (They may be copyright ANSI. I don’t know enough about that organization as to whether the material they facilitate is licensed, usable upon membership, or is public domain.)

The remaining signs are altered for humor.

Brain Damaged
Brain Damaged.

Ouch
Ouch.

I hope that’s his shirt.
I hope that’s his shirt.

I said, Stay out!
I said, "Stay out!"

Top shelf not for stupid people.
Top shelf not for stupid people.

Lactose Intolerant. (Thanks, Dan!)
Lactose Intolerant! (Thanks, Dan!)