Product safety label

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A product safety label represents safety-related information that warns users of products of hazards and instructs them on how to avoid them. It serves to protect people and other living beings or the environment from damage.

Open well caution sign 001


According to EN 82079-1 , product safety labels are not to be confused with safety instructions or warnings . Product safety labels are printed on the packaging or on the product itself. Ideally, the product safety labels are also mentioned in the instructions for use and package inserts at the point where the hazards occur. Graphic symbols, pictograms, labels and product safety labels that are indicated on the product itself or in accompanying material must be explained in the instructions for use. Product safety labels must contain standardized safety labels.

"Label on a product that informs the viewer about one or more potential hazards and shows the safety precautions and / or required actions to avoid the hazard (s)."

The original definition for product safety labels comes from ISO 17724: 2003.


In written and visual communication, for example in instructions for use, the signal words 'danger', 'warning' and 'caution' are used to draw the reader's attention to a specific passage in the text. Product safety labels attached to the product are intended to warn the user of hazards at this point in the product. They serve to minimize the manufacturer's product liability and are generally created on the basis of a previous risk analysis and / or risk assessment . If the product safety label has not been drawn up correctly, a fine can be imposed if the hazard occurs.

Graphic symbols

Graphic symbols including safety signs used on products and in instructions for use that are neither easy to understand nor clear, must be explained to EN 82079 .

SAFE method

The SAFE method is a procedure for the systematic design of warning notices , safety instructions and product safety labels . The severity of the danger and the source of the danger result from the risk analysis mentioned above. The acronym SAFE stands for:

  • S chwere of danger (signal word)
  • A rt and source of danger
  • F ollow disregard of danger
  • E ncome (measures to avert the danger)

Signal words (according to EN 82079 and ANSI Z535)

The signal words provide information about the severity of the hazards :

Personal injury:

  • DANGER indicates an imminent danger. If it is not avoided, death or severe injuries will result.
  • WARNING indicates a possible impending danger. If it is not avoided, death or serious injuries can result.
  • CAUTION indicates a possible impending danger. If it is not avoided, slight or minor injuries can result.

Product / machine / system damage (only ANSI Z535):

  • NOTE indicates a potentially harmful situation. If it is not avoided, the system or something in its vicinity can be damaged.


Standards must be used to design product safety labels:

Individual evidence

  1. EN 82079 chapter 6.4
  2. EN 82079 Chapter 3 Terms
  3. § 39