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The Power of Color in Safety & Department Codings

Some may argue that the use of colors is just as important as the use of words and in some instances colors are opted in place of words. Major corporations brand products or a company around a color and marketing research has shown that consumers make 90 percent of their decisions to buy an item based on its color alone.
 
 
Different colors can induce different  emotions and they also can be used as a guide or to distinguish.  The color red is attention grabbing and stimulating, blue portrays clarity and productivity while purple is soothing and calming. Then there are the neon colors which are typically selected to increase visual awareness.
 
 
Let's explore the power of implementing color in the workplace.
 
  1. Safety requires the use of colors to quickly identify potential hazards or information quickly. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established a nationwide safety color coding system that all businesses must adhere to. The safety color code designations are as follows:
  • Red is the most recognized alert for hazards, emergencies, fire, danger and often used to highlight text warnings. Flammable liquids need to use red containers, fire extinguishers are red and so are stop signs.
  • Orange is the color often selected for an alert which isn't dire but still important. It is often selected for unguarded hazards, dangerous equipment or moving parts. OSHA uses orange for warning tags.
  • Yellow denotes caution of physical hazards such as slipping or falling and is often used with black checkers or stripes to draw attention to a hazard.
  • Green is used to signify safe areas of a workplace. Green can also be used to mark first aid equipment or safety equipment used for purposes other than preventing fires.
  • Blue is used to mark equipment that is under repair or in need of repair. This prevents harm to workers or further damage to the equipment.
  • Purple or Magenta are often used in combination with yellow to designate radiation hazards.
  • Black and White: this color combination is typically used for traffic and housekeeping markings, such as directional signs for stairways, dead ends of aisles or passageways, or borders.
The ANSI- and OSHA-recommended colors are a must in any safety program in a business or industrial setting, but they are also safety colors that should be used at any place where there's a risk for accidents and hazards.
 
  1. The use of colors to identify or separate a department, personnel or  production line and has grown significantly over the years. The fastest growing segment of color-coding is in food processing. A broken piece of fabric such as a glove or a bouffant cap would be hard to trace in years past and a recall affected several different food lines. But now-a-days, finding trace contaminates can be traced to a line which makes balances and checks or recalls more tolerable and less intrusive.   Hospitals are now experimenting with the use of colors in surgical settings to identify a patient's left or right side during a surgical procedure such as a knee or arm. Large corporations and clinics use colors to segregate groups like management, employee and visitor. Teaching universities implement colors to easily distinguish staff/ teachers from students.
  2. The use of colors to increase awareness and visibility can been seen with High Viz PPE. Bright or neon colored gloves and garments are selected for low light conditions or to signal to keep the hands safe by being seen.
 
 
Today's personal protective equipment (PPE ) is offered in an ever growing variety of colors. Colored bouffant caps or hair caps are now available in blue, yellow, white, green, orange, red, pink and navy. Protective coveralls are available in white and nay blue and limited-use SMS lab coats are available in Blueberry, Pink,  Ceil Blue, White, Teal, Raspberry,  Purple,  Sky Blue. Disposable gloves such as non-latex types come in so many colors.  For example, you can purchase single-use nitrile gloves in orange, copper, green, pink, black, purple, lavender, white, various shades of blue and grey colors. If arm covers are what you use, then check out PIP's Kut Gard® Sleeves available in neon orange, neon pink and neon yellow colors. And lastly, disposable isolation gowns are available in blue, white, pink, green and yellow.
 
 
The ANSI- and OSHA-recommended colors are a must in any safety program in a business or industrial setting, but they are also safety colors that should be used at any place where there's a risk for accidents, hazards, segregation or product contamination concerns.

Please feel to contact MDS with questions, samples, volume discounts or for P.P.E. equipment not listed!  +800.274.4637 | info@mdsassociates.com.
 
 
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