Hazard Symbols Awareness
By Guest Blogger Antonio Ferraro
Hazard symbols are one of the most widely used and preferred ways of conveying safety messages. Why? Because they are visual, easy-to-understand, and require no reading, meaning that they are universal and can be utilized without dialect modification in the U.S as well as anywhere else in the world. For instance, take a look at the below safety symbol pictograph and then the written out meaning. If you were in an industrial setting, which type of message would be more efficient?
Choice 1 or choice 2 below?
1. or 2.
It is pretty obvious that choice 1 is more efficient. The message is conveyed quickly and with magnitude, while the text-only option lacks in both ease of use and impact.
Quiz Your Hazard Sign Knowledge!
Let’s review a few of the most common and widely used hazard symbols.
This symbol can be seen in many different places within society, it is not strictly limited to industrial environments, in fact I saw one the other day at the clinic. What does it mean?
a. Bright light possible, shield your eyes.
b. Radiation Hazard.
c. Biohazard Warning.
d. Beach balls available.
The correct answer is b. Radiation Hazard. Radiation can damage cells and even cause cancer. Use caution when working in areas that pose a radiation risk, proper safety procedures should be followed to ensure adequate protection.
When you see this symbol, you should exercise caution because it means:
b. Watch out for flying objects.
c. A balloon may pop.
You are correct if you chose d. Explosive. This symbol is often seen around materials or substances that utilize chemicals, pressurized gasses, or are nuclear in nature. Explosive materials are extremely hazardous as flames, touch, or even temperature change may lead to an explosion.
You don’t have to be a fish lover to know what this hazard symbol means, what does it mean?
a. Drought area, water is scarce.
b. Environmental Hazard.
c. Irritant Possible.
d. Earthquake Hazard.
Even though an earthquake may cause possible gaps in the ground and create a fall hazard, this hazard symbol means b. Environmental Hazard. When this hazard signage is used, there are often substances being used that may cause harm to the environment as well as other living things.
This symbol is pretty universal, what does it indicate?
b. Bonfire area.
Tricky… tricky… the correct answer is a. Flammable. This symbol is very similar to the symbol for oxidizing. However, the oxidizing symbol also features an “O” shape beneath the flames. When the flammable hazard symbol is seen, it means that substances are capable of igniting easily.
What does this symbol mean?
a. Treasure – X marks the spot
b. X-treme conditions are present.
c. Do not enter.
Well, if you guessed answer d. irritant you are right. The key is to also see the little “i” in the bottom right corner. The “i” stands for irritant. When this symbol is seen, it means that there are substances that may cause potential irritation to eyes, skin, or nearly anywhere on the body.
How did you do?
If you answered all of the above questions correctly, congratulations! You know your hazard symbols. However, if you missed any of the above questions, you may want to take some time to review all the hazard symbols. Let’s face it, you don’t want to see the flammable hazard sign and take out your smores supplies hoping for a bonfire.
Antonio Ferraro – On behalf of Creative Safety Supply based in Portland, OR. He strives to provide helpful information to create safer and more efficient industrial work environments. An organized, safe, and well-planned work space leads to increased productivity, quality products and happier employees. Check out creativesafetysupply.com.