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The Different Headers Used on Warning and Instructional Plates

Updated on September 5, 2014
Warning and Instructional Plates
Warning and Instructional Plates

Did you know that the headers that you can find on your warning and instructional plates actually matter? Some people do not know this, but those different headers you see in very specific colors actually mean something. These various headers are made to help people understand at first glance just what kind of danger an area, certain equipment, and machinery pose to human lives.

Knowing what these headers mean, even before you read the entire message found on these metal nameplates, can help you determine just how careful you should be around these things. Understanding the level of danger an area or an item poses even before you go near it or operate it can help save limbs and lives. So, what are these different headers that are used on these informative metal plates?

Danger Header
Danger Header

Different Headers Equals Different Levels of Danger and Care

When you see these headers, you should know beforehand what kind of danger you might be putting yourself in. Knowing is your first line of defense, and is probably what will save your life. Here are the headers that you will commonly see on these warning and instructional plates:

Danger – as the word implies, you are putting yourself in danger when you come near or operate machinery that carry such a plate with such a header. This header is in black, red, and white, with the red in the background and the letters in white, with the black being the border of such a header. These can be seen used in areas or on equipment that may put a person’s life in grave danger. These headers signify a huge possibility of serious injury or death if a person is not careful when they see a nameplate or sign that carries this.

Warning – this header “warns” people of the possibility of death and the likelihood of serious injury if they do not heed the instructions and warnings found on this plate or sign. When you see a warning header, you should practice great care since ignoring the warnings on such metal nameplates can easily get you hurt. Worst case scenario when these headers are on plates or signs, and a person ignores the message on these, is death, but more likely are serious injuries. These headers are in orange and black, with the background in a bright orange and the wordings in black.

Caution – such a header tells people to practice caution and to be careful around what these are found on because these can injure or hurt them. This is the third most serious header in the list, and is used on equipment or areas that may cause a person minor injuries, but not death. While these do indicate minor injuries only, these are not to be scoffed at since any injury should still be avoided at all costs. When you see this header, which is in yellow and black, you should be careful or you might get hurt.

Notice – this is a header that is used to gain a person’s attention. While this header rarely, if ever, signifies any danger to life and limb, it is still worth taking note of since these usually tell of rules, regulations and procedures need to be followed so as to avoid mistakes and damages in property. This header is in blue and white, and reminds people of what to do and to look out for.


What Headers Should You Use With Your Metal Nameplates and Signs?

When you do not know what header is best for your customized metal nameplate, or warning and instructional plates, it is best if you ask experts about it. There are companies that do specialize in the creation of these plates, and they can give you the best advice regarding the use of such headers on your plates. You can also determine with a careful scrutiny of the level of danger involved in the equipment or area where these are to go in order to choose the best header for these.

If the area poses a very high risk to life and limb, then Danger is the header that you should choose. If the risk is still high but not that life threatening, Warning may suffice. If there is a medium level of risk involved, Caution is what you should use. Notice can only be used when there is little to no risk to a person’s wellbeing.


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