Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New NEMA Standards For Facility Signs

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published ANSI Z535.2-2007 American National Standard for Environmental and Facility Safety Signs. This publication contains the requirements for safety signs to be used to alert and inform viewers of the existence of potential hazards to personnel or property in the environment or in facilities, the nature and potential severity of the hazard, and the steps to be taken to avoid the hazard.

According to Allen Clapp, chairman of Subcommittee Z535.2 on Environmental and Facility Safety Signs, this document also includes requirements for signs describing safety procedures, the location of safety equipment, and directional arrows used to alert viewers of safe locations or safety equipment. The requirements cover both fixed signs and larger, movable signs that are sometimes used on large industrial sites with changing conditions.

"This edition helps users differentiate hazards that are likely to result in personal injury from hazards likely to result only in damage to facilities," Clapp said. "The safety sign formats in this standard are consistent with those of ANSI Z535.4 for product safety signs and labels, and ANSI Z535.5 for temporary safety tags and barricade tapes. This standard, however, appropriately reflects the different requirements for environmental and facility safety signs to alert viewers at greater distances, so that they may avoid entering—or take appropriate cautions before entering—the location containing the hazard."

This standard incorporates a new annex to help users estimate and evaluate risks from potential hazards in the environment or in facilities, and select the appropriate alerting signal word and sign format consistent with the type and degree of hazard. Updated references also help users design effective, efficient safety signs.

The table of contents and scope of ANSI Z535.2-2007 may be viewed, or a hardcopy or electronic copy purchased for $78 by visiting NEMA’s website at www.nema.org/stds/z535-2.cfm Copies may also be purchased by contacting IHS at 800-854-7179 (within the U.S.), 303-397-7956 (international), or 303-397-2740 (fax).

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.

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