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Section V:

Human Resources


Safety and Benefits


Safety Signs and Safety Hazard Markings Policy

Current Effective Date:


Revision History:


Original Effective Date:




To assure that employees and the community are effectively informed concerning workplace safety and health hazards. By comprehensively addressing the issue of evaluating the potential hazards of chemicals and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees; and establish protocol for the development of a written Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Safety Hazard Identification Program at each division/facility/school.


Division/Facility/School Directors shall ensure all department employees receive Safety Sign and Safety Hazard Markings information and training as required by OSHA 1910/1926 Industry and Construction Standards.


  1. Each division/facility/school shall communicate dangers and warnings to employees, clients, and visitors through the means of standard safety signs, tags, and markings.

    1. Each building which contains bulk storage of chemicals shall have posted on the exterior address side, a standard NFPA 704 sign designating the highest danger of all the substances within the building for each category.

    2. Where determined necessary by the division/facility/school Safety and Health Director or the supervisor/manager, standard safety signs complying with 29 CFR 1910.145 shall be posted to warn of real and/or potential dangers within the workplace.

      1. Danger signs shall be used in areas where a failure to adhere to the warning on the sign will result in injury.

      2. Caution signs shall be used in areas where a failure to adhere to the warning on the sign may result in injury or occupational illness.

      3. Safety First signs shall be used to convey guidance to prevent accidents or equipment misuse (i.e. eyewash stations).

    3. Tags shall be used on specific equipment to convey temporary warnings.

      1. A tag labeled "Do Not Use" shall be placed on damaged or broken equipment that cannot be used but has not yet been removed from the workplace. (i.e. missing grounding pins on three prong plugs, damaged power cords etc.)

      2. Lockout tags in conformance with the DHHS Lockout/Tagout Policy shall be used to indicate the authorized employee who has locked out the equipment, and shall be placed on the lock while the equipment is in lockout condition.

    4. Markings shall be used as warnings to employees where the use of a sign or tag is infeasible or in conjunction with signs or tags where deemed necessary.

      1. Red floor markings or tape shall surround or mark a boundary or a dangerous area. Signs indicating the danger and appropriate regulations shall be posted conspicuously within the marked area. The color red shall also be used to indicate fire protection equipment and equipment stops, and to mark dangers where the probability of an accident is high.

      2. Yellow floor markings, outlined in black and/or crossed by diagonal black stripes, if necessary for visibility, shall indicate a tripping hazard or delineate a means of egress. Yellow markings shall also be used to indicate a catching hazard, such as on a machine and potential physical hazards where the probability of an accident is moderate.

      3. Orange markings on machinery shall be used to draw attention to removed guards, exposed blades, and similar hazards. Orange markings shall be used on the interiors of electrical switchboxes and other electrical equipment to draw attention to the electrical hazard in places where conductors are exposed.


North Carolina General Statutes:

  1. Chapter 95, Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina: 95-129(2) and 95-148(1)

  2. Chapter 95, Article 18: Hazardous Chemicals Right-to-Know Act

  3. Chapter 143, Article 63: State Employees’ Workplace Requirements Program for Safety and Health: 143-582(1), (3), (4) and (6)

  4. North Carolina Administrative Code:

    1. 25 NCAC 1N.0105(a)

  5. North Carolina State Employees’ Workplace Requirements Program for Safety and Health:

    1. Section 3: Policy 3.12 and Policy 3.17

    2. Section 5: Policy 5.6

  6. North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry:

    1. 29 CFR 1910.145

    2. 29 CFR 1910.1200

  7. Title 42, Chapter 116, Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, Title III

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact Human Resources. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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