Colors and Shapes Play a Main Role in ADA Signs
We all want to have the perfect job and to work in the greatest environment possible. Working in a safe and secure space is essential, which is the reason why most working spaces have safety signs. However, not all of them are used in the best way. One of the most common mistakes when designing ADA signs is failing in the correct choice of colors, reducing their effectiveness. This can easily generate accidents, as well as a stressful and toxic environment for your staff.
Colors and shapes play a main role in ADA signs. We must take as the starting point the fact that these signs’ main objective is to send a fast message to people about the best action to take in a dangerous situation. Therefore, they must be attractive and easy to understand.
Commonly, ADA signs represent with colors and shapes the different levels of the dangers or hazards, as well as the type of sign. For instance:
- O Circles for prohibitions and instructions
- Δ Triangles for warnings
- □ Squares and rectangles for emergency and information signs
As for colors:
- Red is for prohibition
- Yellow for caution
- Green for positive action
- Blue for mandatory actions
However, there is no universal code or law that specifies which color or symbol to use under a specific situation, and it is up to every company to design the system that best suits their needs. This also means that once the system is designed, the rest of the staff must be trained in order to understand the meaning of each symbol and color.
When applied accurately, a safety sign should easily be able to:
- Draw attention to health and safety hazards.
- Point out hazards that may not be obvious.
- Remind employees where personal protective equipment must be worn.
- Indicate where certain actions are prohibited.
- Provide general information and directions.
- Show where emergency equipment is located.
Commonly, safety signs are divided in three categories: regulatory, warning and information. Each category is distinguished by its shape, and these categories are divided into sub-categories that can be recognized by their own color.
Here is a basic guideline that can be used in order to design your own safety sign system:
- A circle indicates that an order is in force.
- Red and black on white indicates prohibition. It forbids an action.
- White on black represents mandatory. It requires a specific action.
- A triangle indicates caution or danger
- Black on yellow represents caution. It indicates a potential hazard.
- White on red represents danger. It indicates a definite hazard.
- A square indicates information.
- White on green represents emergency. It indicates first aid, health, fire protection, fire fighting, and emergency equipment.
- White on blue represents general Information. It indicates permission or public information.
Remember that these signs are meant to provide a safe environment for your staff and customers. Therefore, it is vital that these signs are built with the best materials possible, as well as placed in the correct area. They have to be visible, even for color-blind people. For these matters it is recommended to ask for an expert’s opinion, so he can provide handy solutions and suggestions to make the most of your ADA signage.