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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 2. Safe Practices and Personal Protection
Article 7. Miscellaneous Safe Practices

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§3340. Accident Prevention Signs.

(a) Scope.
(1) These specifications apply to the design, application, and use of signs or symbols intended to indicate and, insofar as possible, to define specific hazards of a nature such that failure to designate them may lead to accidental injury to workers or the public, or both, or to property damage. These specifications are intended to cover all safety signs except those designed for streets, highways, railroads, and marine regulations. These specifications do not apply to plant bulletin boards or to safety posters.
(2) All new signs and replacements of old signs shall be in accordance with these specifications.
(3) All temporary construction signs and symbols required by this section shall be visible at all times when work is being performed and shall be removed or covered promptly when the hazards no longer exist.
(b) Definitions. As used in this section, the word “sign” refers to a surface on which letters or other markings appear, prepared for the warning of, or safety instruction of, industrial workers or members of the public who may be exposed to hazards. Excluded from this definition, however, are news releases, displays commonly known as safety posters, and bulletins used for employee education.
(c) Classification of signs according to use.
(1) Danger signs.
(A) Danger signs shall be used only where an immediate hazard exists.
(B) All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.
(2) Warning signs.
(A) Warning signs shall be used to indicate a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.
(B) All employees shall be instructed that warning signs indicate a potentially hazardous situation that could result in death or serious injury.
(3) Caution signs.
(A) Caution signs shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.
(B) All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard against which proper precaution should be taken.
(4) General safety signs. General safety signs shall be used where there is a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety measures.
(5) Biological hazard signs. The biological hazard warning shall be used to signify the actual or potential presence of a biohazard and to identify equipment, containers, rooms, material, experimental animals, or combinations thereof, which contain, or are contaminated with, viable hazardous agents. For the purpose of this subsection the term “biological hazard,” or “biohazard,” shall include only those infectious agents presenting a risk or potential risk to the well-being of employees.
(d) Sign design.
(1) All signs shall be furnished with rounded or blunt corners and shall be free from sharp edges, burrs, splinters, or other sharp projections. The ends or heads of bolts or other fastening devices shall be located in such a way that they do not constitute a hazard.
(2) Danger signs shall consist of the colors red, black, and white only and shall be approved as defined in Section 3206 of these orders.
(3) Warning signs. Warning signs shall comply with either one of the following:
(A) They shall have the signal word “WARNING” in black letters on a rectangular orange background placed at the top of the sign. The safety alert symbol (a triangle with sides of equal length surrounding an exclamation mark) shall precede the signal word and it shall be on the same horizontal line as the base of the letters of the signal word; or
(B) They shall have the signal word “WARNING” in black letters within a safety orange truncated diamond on a black rectangular background.
(C) Warning signs shall be approved as defined in Section 3206 of these orders.
(4) Caution signs. Standard color of the background shall be yellow; and the panel, black with yellow letters. Any letters used against the yellow background shall be black. Caution signs shall be approved as defined in Section 3206 of these orders.
(5) General safety signs. Standard color of the background shall be white; and the panel, green with white letters. Any letters used against the white background shall be black. General safety signs shall be approved as defined in Section 3206 of these orders.
(6) Slow-moving vehicle emblem. This emblem consists of a fluorescent yellow-orange triangle with a dark red reflective border. The yellow-orange fluorescent triangle is a highly visible color for daylight exposure. The reflective border defines the shape of the fluorescent color in daylight and creates a hollow red triangle in the path of motor vehicle headlights at night. The emblem is intended as a unique identification for, and it shall be used only on, vehicles which by design move slowly (25 m.p.h. or less) on the public roads. The emblem is not a clearance marker for wide machinery nor is it intended to replace required lighting or marking of slow-moving vehicles. Neither the color film pattern and its dimensions nor the backing shall be altered to permit use of advertising or other markings. The material, location, mounting, etc., of the emblem shall be in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Standard, SAE J943-1993, Slow-Moving Vehicle Identification Emblem.
NOTE: All dimensions are in inches Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem
(7) Biohazard symbol. The biohazard symbol design shall be fluorescent orange or orange-red color. Background color is optional as long as there is sufficient contrast for the symbol to be clearly defined. Appropriate wording may be used in association with the symbol to indicate the nature or identity of the hazard, name of individual responsible for its control, precautionary information, etc., but this information shall not be superimposed on the symbol.
(e) Sign wordings. The wording of any sign shall be easily read and concise. The sign shall contain sufficient information to be easily understood. The wording shall make a positive, rather than negative suggestion and shall be accurate in fact.
Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.
1. Renumbering of former section 6003 to new section 3340 and amendment of section filed 2-5-97; operative 3-7-97 (Register 97, No. 6).
2. New subsections (c)(2)-(c)(2)(B) and (d)(3)-(d)(3)(C) and subsection renumbering filed 11-8-2001; operative 12-8-2001 (Register 2001, No. 45).
3. Change without regulatory effect providing more legible illustration of dimensions of Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem filed 2-9-2009 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2009, No. 7).

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