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The Compass - ANSI Z535, 2007

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   1 The Compass  www.asse.org Developing Effective Visual Safety Systems C  larion Safety SystemsLLC, designs and manu-factures safety signs,labels and markingsusing a standards-basedapproach. Clarion helps companiesdevelop effective visual safety sys-tems using products that complywith U.S. and international safetystandards and codes. Working with a multitude of indus-tries, Clarion has accumulated manyways to visually communicate hazardswith safety signs and markings. Clarion’s staff has worked directly with itscustomers’ safety engineers withthe purpose of designing safety markings that not only comply with standards,but are tailored to address very  specific needs. Colors, word messages and nowgraphical symbols are the worldwidelanguage of safety. In this interview, GeoffreyPeckham, president, andAllenQuigley, vice president, sales andmarketing, explain how Clarionhelps companies develop effectivevisual safety systems. They also pro-vide an update on the status ofANSIZ535 and ISO/TC 145 standardscommittee projects. continued on page  12 An Interview with Geoffrey Peckham, president, andAllen Quigley, vice president, sales and marketing ofClarion Safety Systems LLC. PAGE 2SIGNAGE HazComsignageprogram D PAGE 4STANDARDS ANSI Z535safety signsand labels D PAGE 17TECH BRIEF Rooftopelectricalsubstations D S PECIAL  I SSUE A  TECHNICAL PUBLICATION OF  ASSE’ S M ANAGEMENT  P RACTICE  S PECIALTY The Compass The Compass  “S ign, sign, everywhere a sign; Blocking out thescenery, breaking my mind; Do this, don’t dothat, can’t you read the sign?”This song from the 1970s still has relevance today.Whether at work, on the road or at home, you cannotescape signs. This article reviews practical, common-sense approaches to developing a cost-effective andvalue-added HazCom sign program. H AZ C OM  S TANDARD  H ISTORY You may already have a HazComprogram and signs, but have youtaken a comprehensive look at yoursigns site-wide? Or do you have anew plant or a major addition forwhich you must evaluate signs?The federally mandated HazComstandard has existed for more than20 years, but it remains one of thetop four most cited/fined standards.Inadequate or lack of required signscontributes to hundreds of injuries toworkers each year. C OMPLIANCE VS .  AN  E FFECTIVE H AZ C OM  S IGNAGE  P ROGRAM When I visit or inspect a plant, Ifind the same consistent errors and mistakes. Everyone isconcerned about costs and budgets, especially since safetyis viewed as a cost center and not a profit center. We do notwant to price ourselves out of business, but you can cost- justify using the proper sign the first time rather than do itmultiple times at double or triple the cost due to labor. We all want to be in compliance and the sign salesper-son will sell you what you ask for. However, do you ask for the right or best sign that will last under expected con-ditions and potential for damage?You likely do not. Forexample, do you purchase cheaper, smaller stick-on labelsversus hard material signs that will not fade or peel off in 6to 12 months? More expensive signs have a one-time laborcost and are guaranteed to last 5, 10 or 15 years withoutfading, cracking or peeling.You can spend a little moreupfront now or spend much more later and more often. This mistake can be compounded with the undesiredpotential for employee exposure or injury and increasedliability on the company’s part due to inadequate sig-nage. It is generally too late when an exposure or injuryoccurs as a direct/indirect result of a lack of adequateHazCom signs. 2 The Compass  www.asse.org G ETTING  S TARTED  F ROM  S CRATCHOR A  M AJOR  R EVAMP Let’s say you are building a new unit or are takingover an outdated facility and must start from scratch.You will need to obtain or develop a list of all vessels,tanks, silos, vaults, pits, etc., throughout the facility,including intermediate pieces of chemical-containingequipment.You will also need to obtain a list of eachcontainer’s contents for HazCom numbering. Having asummary of vessels/confined spaces along with a sum-mary list of MSDS will help speed the process.Money, budgets, manpower and time to install arealways an issue, but as the adage goes, “You can pay alittle more now upfront or a lot more later.” If you buysmall non-sun-resistant labels that fade, crack or peel off in 3 to 6 months, you may need to buy more of thesecheaper labels and reapply them repeatedly. The moreappropriate/cost-effective approach would be to purchaseABS plastic (5-year), metal (10+ years) or LEXAN,which is guaranteed for 15 years.Major sign/label companies generally have experi-enced professionals on staff who are familiar withHazCom,ANSI and OSHA standards for signs andlabels. Every time I have been in one of these situations,they have come to my site to help perform a site-widedetailed sign survey and to recommend sizes, quantitiesand types of material. This is a big timesaver for busySH&E professionals and you will still have the final sayon everything. S IGN  O PTIONS Standard sign sizes are 5 in. x 7 in., 8 in. x 10 in. and14 in. x 20 in. The size you should choose depends on:1) The distance from which you must read the sign.2) How much wording the sign will need in additionto Danger, Caution, Warning and Notice headers.For example, let’s say you need a HazCom sign incombination with an NFPA HazCom label. The bestchoice would be the larger 14 in. x 20 in. sign so that theNFPA label’s ratings along with the tank number andcontent description can be read from a safe distanceshould a fire or chemical release occur.Signs may be obtained in any size, but signs thatdeviate from standard sizes may cost 25% to 30% more. B ACKGROUND  C OLOR  & L ETTERING Adhere toANSI’s coloring scheme for signs for stan-dardization, understanding and compliance. Reference SIGNAGE  B Y  D. M ICHAEL  P ARKER ,  CSP A Practical Approachto HazCom Signage Initiating acommon-senseapproach to aneffective HazCom signage programwill save you and  your managerstime and money and will minimize your liabilities. continued on page  16  “Several clients, including an ASSE PDC Rookie, had nothing but positive remarks to me about SAFETY 2008 ASSE Conference.”  — Scott Clark, SMCONSULTATIONS “…the efforts of ASSE and the presenters made this the best conference that my colleagues and I have ever attended.”  — Anthony 'Tony' O'Dea, CSP, CHST, Gilbane “I've attended numerous conferences and found the ASSE Conference to be the best value for educational and networking opportunities. If you can only  go to one conference, I would strongly recommend the ASSE PDC.”  — Ken Wengert, Kraft Foods Register at www.SAFETY2009.org orcall +01.847.699.2929 today!  A fter 12 years of work in the standards arena,breakthrough developments have occurred intheANSI Z535 series of standards, the stan-dards that set the bar for safety signs, labels,tags and barricade tapes in the U.S. Many of the changes that have taken place in theANSI Z535standards are the direct result of efforts to harmonize theU.S. standards with new international standards relatedto safety signs, labels, colors and symbols.As such, theANSI Z535 standards embody a newlevel of global best practice when itcomes to the design of visual safetysystems. T HE  R ISE TO  P ROMINENCEOF  ISO S TANDARDS FOR G RAPHICAL  S YMBOLS You are sent to China to install anew piece of factory equipment in anautomotive plant. On the outside of an enclosure, you see the sign shownin Figure 1.You only speak English,the workers in the plant do not speak English and your job is to integrate this new machine into the existingassembly line by the end of the day.You recognize themessage might have something to do with safety becausethe color-coding is somewhat familiar, but you have noidea what the sign is intended to convey. End result:safety communication failure.Whether you are looking at a product safety labelwith text in an unfamiliar language or you find yourself in a foreign land surrounded by signs you do not under-stand, the effect is the same—the message is not under-stood. This issue has significance, especially when itcomes to safety. We live in a time of rapid globalization.A large portion of our manufactured products are mar-keted worldwide, people travel with increasing ease toevery corner of the earth and our nations’economies aretied together through the integration of our commercialworkforces.A universal system for the communicationof visual information is needed and that task was setbefore ISO in 1995.To begin the discussion of the possibility of an inter-national system for the visual communication of infor-mation, think back over the last 15 years and try to recallwhether you have ever been unable to find the switchthat turns on a car’s windshield wipers or headlights.Probably not. In the not-so-distant past, cars had pullknobs or push buttons with words printed on them for 4 The Compass  www.asse.org each control, such as “windshield wipers” and “head-lights.” If you were in a different country, the knobswould have these same words for each function, but thewords would have been in the language of the countrywhere the car was sold. Things have changed.You can now find the control switches for any car inthe world because these functions are clearly indicatedby the use of standardized ISO symbols (Figure 2, p. 5).It may have been through someone showing you thecar’s controls, by repeated use, or by reading the manualthat you gained the knowledge of what these symbolsmean. Since symbol standardization, words are replacedby symbols and the dependence on text has been eitherlessened or eliminated, making for improved communi-cation and fewer problems associated with the world-wide export of products.For another example to illustrate the positive reper-cussions of symbol use, you need look no further thanyour next drive down an interstate highway. The changein signage that has occurred in this venue often goesunnoticed, but the change in communication method isdramatic. When you travel on U.S. freeways, it is notuncommon to see signs indicating fuel, food, lodging orhospital. Over the past decade, the signs used to indicatethese meanings have shifted from word-based messagesto symbol-based messages (Figure 3, p. 5). STANDARDS  B Y  G EOFFREY  P ECKHAM ANSI Z535: A New Era forSafety Signs & Product Labels The effect that the 2007 ANSI Z535  standards will have on our visual landscapewill be nothing lessthan profound. Figure 1 A Foreign-Language, Text-BasedSafety Sign
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