Falls account for 36.4% of all fatalities in the construction industry and are the leading cause of injury or death for construction workers. ANSI Z535.5-2022 aims to help users convey information, in the form of safety tags and barricades tapes, to decrease the amount of accidents in temporary hazardous situations. This American National Standard is incredibly important at construction sites since construction workers deal with all sorts of hazardous equipment and machinery daily.
ANSI Z535.5-2022: Safety Tags and Barricade Tapes (For Temporary Hazards)
The ANSI Z535.5-2022: Standard for Safety Tags And Barricade Tapes (For Temporary Hazards) sets forth a procedure for presenting safety and accident prevention information from safety tags and barricade tapes. This American National Standard specifies the graphic approaches for introducing nationally uniform tags and tapes to use until an identified hazard is eliminated or a hazardous operation is finished. The message in tags and tapes is concise and thus easily understood, and it is displayed in high contrast colors. Moreover, safety tags and barricade tapes are classified by their distinct signal word and color:
- DANGER: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury. This signal word is in safety white letters on a rectangular safety red background with a safety red exclamation mark, embedded in a white equilateral triangle.
- WARNING: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury. This signal word is in safety black letters on a rectangular safety orange background with a safety orange exclamation mark, embedded in a black equilateral triangle.
- CAUTION: Indicates a hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in minor or moderate injury. This signal word is in safety black letter on a rectangular safety yellow background with a safety yellow exclamation mark, embedded in a black equilateral triangle.
- NOTICE: Indicates information considered important, but not hazard-related (e.g., messages relating to property damage). This signal word is italicized in white safety letters on a safety blue background.
- SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS or similar words: Indicates a type of safety tag, or a separate panel on a safety tag, where specific safety-related instructions or procedures are described (e.g., SAFE SHUTDOWN PROCEDURE; BOILER SHUTDOWN PROCEDURE; LOCKOUT PROCEDURE). This signal word is in white safety letters on a rectangular safety green background.
Industries (typically manufacturing and construction) that employ lockout/tagout procedures or have a need to mark an area affected by a temporary hazard will find ANSI Z535.5-2022 beneficial.
Changes to ANSI Z535.5-2022
The first edition of ANSI Z535 was made available to the public in 1992. Revisions to the 2011 edition of ANSI Z535.5 better harmonized it with ANSI Z535.2, ANSI Z545.4, and ANSI Z535.6—all of which mentioned signal word panels. Furthermore, it was not until 2002 that guideline requirements were introduced for the design of safety barricades tapers. The 2022 edition of this standard was revised to clarify the relationship of this standard and other applicable standards and regulations.
In this 2022 edition, the Safety Instructions Tag was added in addition to the existing types of signs, hazard alerting tags, and barricade tapes. In addition, safety notice tags and barricade tapes were more clearly defined and named.
Hazards in the Construction Industry
Construction workers engage in a wide range of activities that could expose them to serious hazards, like falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos. In fact, the construction industry accounted for 46.1% for fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2020, and more than 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry in 2020.
The risk of hazardous situations within construction is especially worth noting as the construction industry is growing in the United States. 10.8 million workers were employed in the US construction industry in 2020; the overall number of people employed in the construction industry has increased an average of 2.8% from 2017 to 2022. In short, ANSI Z535.5-2022 is crucial to protecting the growing number of construction workers, as this particular industry is exposed to hazardous situations frequently.
ANSI Z535.5-2022: Standard for Safety Tags and Barricade Tapes is available on the ANSI Webstore.