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Clarion Safety Systems Shares Update On Standardization Of Symbols Following International Standards Meetings

Clarion Safety Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of safety signs and safety labels, is pleased to share insight on safety communication and symbol development following the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee meetings held earlier this month in Delft, Netherlands.

Clarion is an active member of the preeminent standards bodies responsible for safety communication standards – the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) domestically and ISO internationally. The company’s CEO, Geoffrey Peckham, is chair of the ANSI Z535 Committee for Safety Signs and Colors, chair of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 145 – Graphical Symbols, and is chair-elect for ISO/TC 145.

In the first week of June, members of ISO/TC 145, the committee in charge of international standards for safety signs, colors and symbols, held their plenary meeting. During this meeting, the experts and committee leadership reviewed the work that each subcommittee and working group had accomplished since the June 2016 plenary meeting, as well as gave guidance and approval to each committee’s work plan for the coming year.

This horizontal ISO technical committee is responsible for the registration of nearly all symbols standardized in ISO standards. In addition, it writes standards related to how symbols are designed and how they are used in the fields of providing public information (by way of subcommittee 1), conveying safety messages (by way of subcommittee 2), and communicating functions and controls on equipment (by way of subcommittee 3).

A major topic of discussion during this month’s meeting was a newly proposed title and scope for ISO/TC 145. Up until now, the committee’s title has been simply “Graphical symbols.”

“Over the years, much work has gone into writing standards that describe best practices related to how symbols are used on signs and how public information and safety sign systems are put together. The detailed development of such standards goes way beyond the design and registration of graphical symbols. Hence, a new title and scope were appropriate,” says Peckham.

The proposed new title for ISO/TC 145 is “Graphical symbols, signs and safety identification.” The scope has been expanded to include standardization in the fields of signs, way guidance systems, and identification markings – both for public information purposes and for safety purposes.

“The list of actual applications that TC 145 standards address is long and diverse – from standardizing the color-coding of beach safety flags meant to alert beach users to changing conditions to the right symbols to use to identify the location of safety and firefighting equipment. The use of standardized graphical symbols in standardized sign and marking formats will make communication easier in our ever-increasing global culture, and ISO/TC 145 is the central place where this graphic-based language is being developed,” says Peckham.

Over the coming months, each ISO member body (such as ANSI, DIN, AFNOR, and BSI) will be asked to approve ISO/TC 145’s more accurate title and scope. In the meantime, ISO/TC 145’s subcommittees and working groups will continue their work of developing and revising the standards under their care, and assisting other ISO technical committees when graphical symbols are needed in their industry-specific ISO standards.

To learn more about how ISO uses symbols, vocabulary and color to standardize safety signage on a worldwide basis, watch Clarion’s short, educational video “ISO Symbols for Safety Signs and Labels.”

Clarion Safety Systems, LLC, is the leading designer and manufacturer of visual safety solutions that help customers in more than 180 industries worldwide to make their products and premises safer. Clarion offers a full range of standard and custom products including machinery safety labels, environmental and facility safety signs, pipe and valve identification markings, lockout/tagout products, and safety-grade photoluminescent egress path-marking escape systems. Founded in 1990, the company continues to play a leading role in the development and writing of international and national standards for safety signs, labels, and markings. Clarion is headquartered at 190 Old Milford Road in Milford, PA, 18337, and online at

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 161 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. To learn more, visit

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