Geoffrey PeckhamThe president of a leading designer and manufacturer of safety signs and labels has been appointed chairman of the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) U.S. committee for safety communication.

Clarion Safety Systems' president Geoffrey Peckham has been confirmed as chair of the ANSI Z535 committee, which writes standards that govern the characteristics of visual safety markings that are used to warn about hazards and prevent accidents. The ANSI Z535 family of six standards covers the formatting, colors and symbols used for safety signs, labels, tags and markings and how safety information is presented in instruction manuals. ANSI Z535 standards are often cited in U.S. court decisions as the state-of-the-art benchmark against which safety markings and their adequacy are judged.

"It's a great honor for me to take on this leadership position from Gary Bell, who chaired this pivotal ANSI standards committee for the past two decades,” says Mr. Peckham. “As I oversee the ANSI Z535 committee's work, my driving objectives for the future will be two-fold. First, to improve the standards with each revision so their content is consistent with the finest research and industry best practices. Second, I will work with the ANSI Z535 committee, OSHA and American industry to gain even greater acceptance and use of the ANSI Z535 standards to improve workplace, public area and product safety.”

ANSI Z535-style communications use the signal words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION, NOTICE, or SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS and often include specific details about the nature of the hazard, the consequence of interaction with the hazard, and avoidance procedures. Product manufacturers and facility owners in a wide array of industries use the ANSI Z535 standards in their efforts to assure a safer workplace and the safe use of their products so both accidents and law suits are minimized.

“Our society will greatly benefit from the widespread intelligent application of these standards because the end result will be a national uniform system for hazard recognition,” Peckham said. A statement from Clarion noted just as highway signs are visually consistent on a national basis – for quick comprehension – the ANSI Z535 committee is working to achieve a standardized system of safety communication in work and public landscapes for better hazard avoidance and improved safety.

“Protecting people from harm is the overarching goal and, speaking for the committee, it will continue to be the foundation for everything the ANSI Z535 standards stand for in the future,” said Peckham, who is also chair and delegation head of the U.S. ANSI Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization’s committee that defines the global rules for safety signs, colors, and symbols (ISO/TC 145).

Peckham said the goal of bringing the best in “best practices” into both U.S. and international standards in this field is his passion, because it’s only in this realm that safety sign systems improve and better achieve their goal of saving lives.

Peckham founded Clarion Safety Systems (previously Hazard Communications Systems) in 1990. He frequently lectures at the request of various manufacturing, risk management, insurance, and academic organizations on the application benefits of compliance with ANSI and ISO standards for safety signs, labels and photoluminescent safety markings. In addition, he is called upon to be an expert witness in the area of warnings.

About ANSI Z535

Accredited by the American National Standards Institute, the ANSI Z535 standards committee was formed in 1979 to develop standards for the design, application, and use of signs, colors, and symbols intended to identify and warn against specific hazards and for other accident prevention purposes. The ANSI Z535 standards are administered and published by NEMA, an association of member companies that manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. NEMA is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.   

About Clarion Safety Systems

Clarion Safety Systems, LLC, is a 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 product & machinery safety labels, environmental & facility safety signs, pipe & 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 and facility identification markings and products. Clarion is headquartered at 190 Old Milford Road in Milford, PA, 18337, and online at