By Jack Rubinger, www.DuraLabel.com, 503-469-3024, jarubinger@graphicproducts.com 

Hazard check for October: maintain walkways to eliminate soggy leaves; adjust outdoor lighting; get brake jobs for auto fleet; and most importantly—protect your workers from zombie invasions.

As the undead begin to encroach during the waning daylight hours, it’s critical to make sure your safety signs are OSHA-compliant. OSHA’s primary hazard classifications for danger, warning, caution, and biohazard are designed to be noticed—important when you want to ensure your employees show up for work alive the next day. Use the following information to keep your employees alive and safe, and at the same time avoid being fined by OSHA.


Danger signs indicate an immediate hazard which, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury. Danger signs should be reserved for the most serious hazards and signify special precautions are necessary.

The Danger signal word is printed in white letters on a red background and preceded by the safety alert symbol. The message panel, beneath the signal word, is where the safety message is printed, usually in black or red over white. You can also print in white over a black safety panel. Pictograms may be used to help workers recognize hazards sooner and from safe distances.  In the case of zombie hazard, we recommend the following:

DANGERKeep Clear: Zombie Hazard Imminent 


Warning signs are one hazard level below danger signs. They describe a hazard which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.

The Warning signal word is written in black on an orange background header and proceeded by a safety alert symbol. The text in the message panel may be printed in white letters on a black panel or black letters on a white panel. Warning signs and labels can be any size and printed in a landscape or portrait format. Keep in mind, alternative design and color options should only be used to improve worker comprehension.

When warning of zombies, we recommend the following:

WARNINGAvoid Contact with Zombies. Always wear Personal Protective Equipment if contact is unavoidable. Contact with skin may result in zombification.


A caution sign indicates a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, may result in minor or moderate injury. Caution signs are used in areas where potential injury or equipment damage is possible, or to caution against unsafe practices. Caution signs should only be used if there is a risk of personal injury.

The Caution signal word is written in black letters on a yellow background and is preceded by a safety alert symbol, except when used for a non-personal injury. The message panel below the signal word contains the safety message and any additional safety symbols. Everything printed inside the message panel is black text on white or white text on black.

Here’s an example of a useful caution sign. Does your facility have a zombie evacuation plan?

 CAUTIONZombie Evacuation RouteKeep aisles clear.


OSHA 1910.1459(e)(4) states, “The biological hazard warnings shall be used to signify the actual or potential presence of a biohazard and to identify equipment, containers, rooms, materials, experimental animals, or combinations thereof, which contain, or are contaminated with, viable hazardous agents… presenting a risk or potential risk to the well-being of man.” The symbol design must conform with the example shown right and contain the word “Biohazard” or “Biological Hazard.”

The biohazard symbol can be black, fluorescent orange, or an orange-red color. Background color is optional as long as there is sufficient contrast for the biohazard symbol to be clearly defined. A biohazard can also be indicated on a danger or warning sign and may include the safety alert symbol.

If incapacitated zombies are strewn about your work area, they should be tagged with biohazard signs, as shown below:

 BIOHAZARD Avoid skin contact with contaminated tissue

 OSHA also has compliance standards for Notice, general safety signs, fire safety signs, and admittance signs. See the DuraLabel site for a selection of OSHA-compliant signs for zombie hazards and any other purpose.

Thanks, Jack, for these important warnings to protect our workers!  Safety posters placed in just the right spots may help, as well.