ANSI safety labels brings change to Waste Container Safety

January 12, 2017By Chad Hisey

Before ANSI safety labels, Equipment Safety Decals all looked the same

Prior to ANSI standard Z245.30-2008, all OSHA decals or container safety labels looked the same.  Outside of color and wording nothing was different between a notice sticker and a danger sticker. Those are two totally different ‘warning statements’!  The first discussing property damage or  even keep lids closed to “Hey! If you don’t follow instruction, this equipment could kill you!”  No difference.  This is where ANSI safety labels have changed dumpster decals and equipment safety for the better. In fact ANSI safety labels call for your attention and make you take notice. Is there anything wrong with the old style.  No, this style is still practical for many warnings.


For years, safety labels have looked the same… larger bold declaration at the top and text to fit at the bottom explaining the Caution or Hazard statement. Sure for years, English has been the predominant language in the United States.

Waste container safety labelsBob Dylan said it best, “The Times They Are-A Changin’”.

Just listen anywhere you go, is English the only language you hear? Probably not. Regardless of language, many children and some adults can not read. Should a person not be made aware of potential safety hazards simply because they can not read the Caution / Warning / Danger sign?

Enter ANSI decals from Kewanna Screen Printing

ANSI Container LabelsThe American National Standards Institute (ANSI for short) is a private non-profit organization that works to develop consensus standards across many sectors of the US marketplace and strengthen its position in the global economy. Voluntary conformity of the standardization makes US businesses more competitive while assuring the safety and health of consumers and protection of the environment. (source – ANSI website: About ANSI)

That being said there are two industries KSP serves that use ANSI labels; the Waste & Recycling industry and the Manufacturing industry. For this particular post, we will deal with the needs of Waste Haulers. Let’s look at those headings CAUTION, WARNING, and DANGER.

ANSI Falling Hazard Dumpster DecalCAUTION means if the precaution is not taken, it may cause minor or moderate damage. CAUTION stickers are depicted by a yellow heading and black text.

ANSI Tipping Hazard Dumpster DecalWARNING means if the warning is not heeded, it can cause serious injury or death. WARNING labels are depicted by an orange heading and black type.

ANSI Crush Hazard Sticker for waste container safetyDANGER means if the danger is not avoided, it will cause
death or severe injury. DANGER decals use a Red heading with white wording.

Note the difference between WARNING and DANGER. In the Warning heading serious injury or death could result, while the Danger heading proclaims serious injury or death will occur if precaution is not taken.

So how are ANSI decals for my dumpster different? How do they overcome the language barrier?

First, ANSI equipment safety decals have bold headings that declare either CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER and have a bright colored background so it is easily seen. The message section of the label is broke into a left and right. On the left side, there is a picture of the hazard being declared along with another statement of declaration to explain the hazard. Remember pictures are worth a thousand words, so the picture clears up any misunderstandings caused by not being able to read or understand the message. The right side simply states the instructions to avoid results of such action.

Are ANSI decals new? Why isn’t everybody using them?

Well, ANSI safety labels are kind of new. Meaning less than 10 years old (at time of original writing, however since not everybody is not doing it, they are still new). The standard for labeling waste containers is dated 2008. Because conformity is strictly voluntary, there is no law stating you have to use these. OSHA labels (think black on yellow vinyl caution stickers) have been around since 1970. Most trash companies, simply do not realize that there is a new standard. Busy keeping their customers satisfied, unless somebody tells them of the benefits, many just keep on using the same dumpster decals they have always used. Besides the ANSI standard does nothing for a notice sticker which deals primarily with policy, local ordinances or property damage.  Therefore this OSHA standard is still viable.

Why should I use ANSI decals on my containers?

They simply keep the public safer. As stated above, pictures are the universal language. The simple drawing of the hazard makes communication of the dangers more easily understood despite language or literacy barriers. The three color (heading, text, and background) help the label stand out from the container and be seen.

Where can I learn more about the ANSI standards for Waste Containers?

You can learn more by reading this article.

To see a short video about the correct placement of ANSI labels and purchase your own KSP ANSI container decals, click here.

For more articles to aid in your purchasing decision, please check our other blog posts.

No Shirts and We Don’t Pick Up Your Trash: Tales from KSP Customer Service

December 26, 2016By Chad Hisey

Our name is Kewanna Screen Printing, true. When most people think of Screen-Printing, they apparently think of screen printed t-shirts. I’m sorry we do not print t-shirts. We do not sell t-shirts. In fact, outside a local sports store, I don’t know who does. As a customer service representative for KSP this is a question I answer three or four times a year. Often in the form of an email, I find people who are attending a trade show or giving lectures who want shirts printed with their message.

-So sorry, I can not help you with that.

At Kewanna Screen Printing, we print industrial decals, labels, plastic tags and verification of service collars and most recently vehicle graphics. Our customers are those companies who work in the safety and service industries as well as manufacturing. Those companies often handle medical or industrial gases, service fire extinguishers, provide trash or recycling services, run portable restroom services, drive trucks and those who make equipment for all of those companies. Not only do we do screen-printing which is cost effective for large quantity orders but we digitally print decals and labels. Digital printing offers the ability to print great detail and offer unlimited colors at a very economical price for smaller quantities.

Oval Custom Portable Restroom Decal

Outside of custom printing, we do print/stock as well as print to order hundreds of standard labels. Another request is brought to us by said standard (stock) labels. One that comes up time to time that leaves me puzzled is from restaurant employees. Typically coming on Monday mornings, I am guessing after a busy weekend, they call to have their trash picked up. Saying things like, “Our dumpster is overflowing, nobody has picked it up.” or “Why didn’t you pick up our trash?”. After conversing with the caller I learn that they got our number off of a label on the dumpster.

We print and sell a quarter million stock dumpster decals every year to dumpster manufacturers and trash companies the like. Each contain our website and phone number. After explaining that we only make the sticker on their dumpster, I am asked, “Do you know how to get a hold of my trash company?”

-If only I did, we sell lots of custom labels to trash companies, with their name and phone number.

What are your custom printing needs? Do you need a weatherproof label, decal or tag? Then we have an answer for you. Traditionally, our labels are printed on a 5-year industrial vinyl and either screen-printed with UV-resistant inks (4 to 5 years until minimally noticeable fading) or digitally printed with outdoor grade inks (2 to 3 years until minimal fading). If you have specific material or tamper resistant needs other materials are available. Our plastic tags and verification of service collars offer weather resistance unlike other options available. Both wind and water-resistant, our 0.023 polyethylene product is easy to write on with a sharpie. Please contact us today!

For more articles to aid in your purchasing decision, please check our other blog posts.