Signs Required by Cal/OSHA Regulations

Sign Topic

Regulatory Citation

Regulatory Text

Sign Text * (see NOTE)


8 CCR 3340(b)


As used in this section (8 CCR 3340), the word “sign” refers to a surface on which letters or other markings appear, prepared for the warning of, or safety instruction of, industrial workers or members of the public who may be exposed to hazards.

(Explanatory details)


8 CCR 3340(c)(1)


Danger signs shall be used only where an immediate hazard exists.   All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.



8 CCR 3340(c)(2)


Warning signs shall be used to indicate a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.  All employees shall be instructed that warning signs indicate a potentially hazardous situation that could result in death or serious injury.



8 CCR 3340(c)(3)


Caution signs shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.  All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard against which proper precaution should be taken.



8 CCR 3340(e)


The wording of any sign shall be easily read and concise. The sign shall contain sufficient information to be easily understood. The wording shall make a positive, rather than negative suggestion and shall be accurate in fact.

(Explanatory details)


8 CCR 3340(d)(7)

8 CCR 5193(e)(2)(B)(4)

8 CCR 5193(g)(1)(B)



Slow Moving Vehicle

8 CCR 3340(d)(6)

Slow Moving Vehicle


Laser Warning

8 CCR 1801(d)


Areas in which lasers are used shall be posted with laser warning signs and labels in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1- 2000, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers, Section 4.7, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

(Laser Warning)


8 CCR 489(a)

All (LP gas) containers in excess of 125 gallons, except transportation containers and fuel containers on motor vehicles, shall have the word “FLAMMABLE” on each side that is readily visible.  The letters of this sign shall be standard-type letters and shall have a height of at least 1/12 of the diameter of the container…


No Smoking

8 CCR 5148(a)

8 CCR 5148(b)(1)(A)


No employer shall knowingly or intentionally permit, and no person shall engage in, the smoking of tobacco products in an enclosed space at a place of employment.  Where smoking is prohibited throughout the building or structure, a sign stating "No smoking" shall be posted at each entrance to the building or structure.

No Smoking

Jacking Gear

8 CCR 8376(c)(1)(A)


The jacking gear shall be engaged to prevent the (Ship’s Propulsion Machinery) main engine from turning over.  A sign shall be posted at the throttle indicating that the jacking gear is engaged.

(Jacking gear is engaged)

Electronic News Gathering

8 CCR 2981(e)(1)

Each ENG (Electronic News Gathering) vehicle equipped with elevating mast, dish, antenna, or similar apparatus, shall be posted with durable, permanent warning signs.

Unlawful to operate this equipment within 10 feet of high-voltage lines of 50,000 volts or less

No Smoking (near LP gas tank)

8 CCR 489(b)

8 CCR 542(b)


Warning signs…shall be applied (with) letters at least 1 1/2 inches high, in sharply contrasting colors, on each stationary container or on a sign posted adjacent to the container (of LP gas).



Powder Actuated Tool

8 CCR 1691(n)

A sign at least 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm), using boldface type no less than 1-inch (2.5 cm) in height, be conspicuously posted within 50 feet (15 m) of the area where the tools are being used. The sign shall bear wording similar to the following…


Anhydrous Ammonia tank

8 CCR 502(a)

…in sharply contrasting colors, with letters at least 1/12 of the (anhydrous ammonia) tank diameter in height, but need not be in excess of 1 1/2 inches for tanks 500 gallons capacity or less or 4 inches for tanks exceeding 500 gallons capacity.

Caution -- Ammonia

High voltage lines

8 CCR 2947

The owner, agent, or employer responsible for the operations of equipment shall post and maintain in plain view of the operator and driver on each crane, derrick, power shovel, drilling rig, hay loader, hay stacker, pile driver, or similar apparatus, a durable warning sign legible at 12 feet reading…

Unlawful To Operate This Equipment Within 10 Feet Of High-Voltage Lines of 50,000 Volts Or Less


8 CCR 1532(m)

8 CCR 5216, App B

8 CCR 5198 App B

The following warning sign be posted in each regulated area or work areas where the exposure to lead exceeds the PEL.   These signs are to be posted and maintained in a manner which assures that the legend is readily visible.


Cotton Dust

8 CCR 5190(j)

The employer shall post the following warning sign in each work area where the permissible exposure limit for cotton dust is exceeded.


Confined Spaces

8 CCR 5157(c)(2)

If the workplace contains permit spaces, the employer shall inform exposed employees and other employees performing work in the area, by posting danger signs or by any other equally effective means, of the existence, location of and the danger posed by the permit spaces.


Explosives (“Blasting Agents”) Storage

8 CCR 5346(b)

The front, both sides, and rear of the trailer or truck shall be posted with a warning sign reading: “EXPLOSIVES” in red letters, at least 4 inches high with a 5/8-inch stroke, on a white background.


Explosives (“Blasting Agents”) Transportation

8 CCR 5347(c)

The front, both sides, and rear of the truck or trailer shall be posted with warning signs reading: “EXPLOSIVES” in red letters at least 4 inches high, with a 5/8-inch stroke on a white background.


Radio Transmitting Prohibited

8 CCR 5314(d)


Warning signs shall be posted at all entrances to the well site with lettering “RADIO TRANSMITTING PROHIBITED IN THIS AREA” or equivalent. Lettering of the sign shall be at least 4 inches high in red letters with a 5/8-inch stroke on a white background.


Blasting Area

8 CCR 5291(c) and (g)

Precautions, such as the following, shall be taken to prevent unauthorized entry into the blast area: warning signs…  Warning signs, indicating a blast area, shall be maintained at all approaches to the blast area. The warning sign lettering shall not be less than 4 inches in height on a contrasting background.

(Blasting Area)

Disconnecting Switch

8 CCR 2835(h)


Unless so interlocked that they cannot be opened under load, disconnecting switches shall be provided with permanent warning signs having letters at least 2 inches high and reading as follows…

Warning - Disconnecting Switch - Do Not Open Under Load

Elevator Emergency

8 CCR 3041(a)(3)(A)

Where elevators…without a designated operator in the car, are located…other than in…residential buildings…and are not provided with a telephone in the elevator car…they shall be provided with…A sign that can be read from the adjacent sidewalk … (with) letters not less than 2 inches high.


Laboratory Signs

8 CCR 5191 Appendix A

Prominent signs…should be posted: Emergency telephone numbers… Location signs for safety showers, eyewash stations, other safety and first aid equipment, exits… Warnings at areas or equipment where special or unusual hazards exist.

(Laboratory Signs)

Danger - Asbestos

8 CCR 1529(k)(7)(B)(1)

8 CCR 5208(j)(3)(B)(1)

(Asbestos) warning signs…shall bear the following information…



Respirators and Protective Clothing for Asbestos

8 CCR 1529(k)(7)(B)(2)

8 CCR 5208(j)(3)(B)(1)


In addition, where the use of respirators and protective clothing is required in the regulated (asbestos) area…the warning signs shall include…



Danger - Cadmium

8 CCR 1532(m)(2)(B)

Warning signs…shall bear the following information…


Danger – Ethylene Oxide

8 CCR 5220(j)(1)(a)

The employer shall post and maintain legible signs demarcating regulated areas and entrances or accessways to regulated areas that bear the following legend:


Danger - Acrylonitrile

8 CCR 5213(p)(2)(a)

The employer shall post signs to clearly indicate all workplaces where AN concentrations exceed the permissible exposure limits. The signs shall bear the following legend:


Cancer-Suspect Agent

8 CCR 5209(e)(1)(A)

Entrances to regulated areas shall be posted with signs bearing the legend:


Cancer-Suspect Agent

8 CCR 5209(e)(1)(B)


Entrances to regulated areas containing operations covered in paragraph (c)(5) of this section shall be posted with signs bearing the legend:


Danger - Arsenic

8 CCR 5214(l)(2)(A)

All entrances or approaches to a regulated area shall be posted with a sign bearing the following legend:



In case of fire use stairs

8 CCR 3041(c)(6)

All automatic elevators shall have not less than one sign at each landing printed on a contrasting background in letters not less than 1/2 inch high to read: …

In case of fire
Use stairway for exit
Do not use elevator

Warning – High Voltage – Keep Out

8 CCR 2811

Permanent and conspicuous warning signs shall be posted on all doors or gates that provide access to enclosures containing exposed energized parts and conductors. Such signs shall be legible at 12 feet and shall read substantially as follows…


High Voltage

8 CCR 2824(c)(4)

A conspicuous and permanent "HIGH VOLTAGE" sign shall be placed on the outside at the point where a high-voltage conductor enters the building.


Danger – Unsafe Roof

8 CCR 6803(a)

The roofs of tanks and reservoirs in service shall be externally inspected…at intervals not to exceed one year. Where a roof has been found to be unsafe or has not been inspected… Legible signs shall be posted at all approaches to the tank or reservoir roof…shall read: "DANGER - UNSAFE ROOF - KEEP OFF", or equivalent wording in letters at least two inches (2") in height.


STOP – Tank Car Connected

8 CCR 509(d)(1)

Caution signs shall be so placed on the track or (anhydrous ammonia) car…and shall be left up until after the car is unloaded... Signs shall be of metal or other suitable material, at least 12 by 15 inches in size and bear the words "STOP -- Tank Car Connected" or "STOP -- Men at Work" the word, "STOP", being in letters at least 4 inches high and the other words in letters at least 2 inches high. The letters shall be white on a blue background.

STOP -- Tank Car Connected     

Blue Stop Signs

8 CCR 3333(A)

The employer shall provide blue stop signs for use by day, and in addition, blue lights for…night work, and cause them to be displayed before employees are permitted to work in, upon, or under any standing railroad…cars…where unanticipated movement or disturbance of such…cars might endanger employees or equipment.

(Blue Stop Signs)

Manlift Belt Signs

8 CCR 3099(i)(1)


Signs of conspicuous and easily read style, giving instructions for the use of the manlift, shall be posted at each landing or stenciled on the belt. Such signs shall be of letters not less than 1 inch in height and of a color having high contrast with the surface on which it is stenciled or painted (white or yellow on black or black on white or gray).

Face the Belt - Use the Handhold To Stop - Pull Rope in Direction of Travel

Manlift Belt Signs

8 CCR 3099(i)(2) & (3)


At the top floor, illuminated signs shall be displayed bearing the following wording…  At the approach to the bottom floor, an illuminated sign shall be displayed bearing the following wording…

Top Floor--Get Off
Bottom Floor--Get Off

Manlift Belt Signs

8 CCR 3097(a)(5)

Visitor Warning Requirements. A conspicuous sign (on the manlift enclosure) having the following legend…


Private Roads – Mine Safety

8 CCR 7014(e) and (i)

Roads used for two-way traffic on which vehicles do not travel on the right side all the way shall be posted with signs indicating the side of the road to travel.  Public and permanent railroad crossings shall be posted with warning signs or signals, or shall be guarded when trains are passing...

(Mine Road Signs)

Private Road Signs

8 CCR 1590(a)(2)


On private roads used for two-way traffic, arrangements shall be such that vehicles travel on the right side as much as possible. Signs shall be posted to clearly indicate variations from this system.

(Private Roads Signs)


Safety Shower / Eyewash

8 CCR 6822(b)

Safety shower and eyewash fountain locations shall be made conspicuous by special marking, signs, or other identification.

(Safety Shower / Eyewash)

Corrosive Samples

8 CCR 6822(e)(2)


Warning signs or legends shall be conspicuously posted where the substance being sampled or gaged is corrosive.

(Corrosive Samples)

Amusement Rides

8 CCR 3195.7(b)


The owner or operator shall use effective signs, videos, or other similarly effective means of advising patrons of those instructions, limitations, restrictions, and warnings deemed necessary for patron safety by the owner or operator…  When signs are used for this purpose, they shall be permanently and conspicuously posted at each applicable permanent amusement ride.

(Amusement Ride Rules)

Falling Trees

8 CCR 6276


An employee shall be stationed to direct traffic when there is a probability of danger in falling a tree adjacent to a railroad, cat road, motor road, or trail. Warning signs shall be posted on motor roads in areas of cutting.

(Falling Trees)

Energized Circuits

8 CCR 1518(d)(1)

Where (energized) circuits exist…warning signs shall be posted…

(Energized Circuits)

Evacuation of Cofferdam

8 CCR 1543(b)


If overtopping of the cofferdam by high waters is possible, means shall be provided for controlled flooding of the work area. Warning signs for evacuation of employees in case of emergency shall be developed and posted.

(Evacuation of Cofferdam)

Traffic Control Signs

8 CCR 1598(b)

Specifications for the size and design of signs…used for traffic control shall be as described in the "California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, September 26, 2006"…which is incorporated by this reference.

(Traffic Control Signs)

Traffic Control Warning Signs

8 CCR 1599(c)


Placement of (traffic control) warning signs shall be according to the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, September 26, 2006…which is herein incorporated by reference.

(Placement of Traffic Control Warning Signs)

Traffic Control Warning Signs

8 CCR 8604(a)


Before (telecommunications) work is begun in the vicinity of vehicular or pedestrian traffic which may endanger employees, warning signs and/or flags or other traffic control devices shall be placed conspicuously to alert and channel approaching traffic.

(Traffic Control Warning Signs)

Danger – Energized / Moving Parts

8 CCR 8604(b)


If work exposes energized or moving parts that are normally protected, danger signs shall be displayed and barricades erected, as necessary, to warn other personnel in the area.


(Danger - Energized/Moving Parts)

Riding on Conveyors Forbidden

8 CCR 3087.2(c)(2)

Riding vertical or inclined reciprocating conveyors shall be forbidden to all persons. Warning signs to this effect shall be conspicuously and securely posted at each point of access to platform or carrier.   Lettering shall be not less than 2 in. (51 mm) high on a contrasting background.

(Warning: Riding on Conveyors Forbidden)


Dangerous Area Sign on Barrier

8 CCR 7160(c)(4)

If any dangerous or questionable ground is found in the roof or sides (of a mine tunnel), it shall promptly be made safe by one or more of the following means: (1) Scaling or blasting down; (2) Supporting; (3) Backfilling; (4) Erect barriers with warning signs to prevent entrance to the dangerous area.

(Warning: Dangerous Area)

Unqualified Persons Keep Out

8 CCR 2340.17(b)

Entrances to rooms and other guarded locations containing exposed energized parts shall be marked with conspicuous warning signs forbidding unqualified persons to enter.

(Warning: Unqualified Persons Keep Out)

Circuit Feedback

8 CCR 2831

Circuits shall be labeled at all accessible points with suitable warning signs stating the locations from which feedback may occur because of…

(Warning: Circuit Feedback)

No Headroom

8 CCR 3272(b)

In existing installations, which do not comply with the minimum headroom clearance (6 feet 8 inches), the obstruction shall be removed, or if this is impracticable, a suitable warning sign shall be placed near or on the obstruction so as to notify employees of its presence.

(Warning: No Headroom)

Scaffold Above

8 CCR 3285(b)

When a suspended scaffold is suspended over an area traveled by workers, the public or vehicular traffic, the ground area directly under the work zone shall be effectively blocked by means of barricades, or an attendant shall be stationed so as to keep the area clear. Warning signs shall also be posted below.

(Warning: Scaffold Above)

Boatswain’s Chair Above

8 CCR 3286(a)(3)

When a boatswain's chair or (a Controlled Descent Apparatus (CDA)) is suspended over an area traversed by workers, pedestrians or vehicular traffic, the ground area below and within the window cleaner's work zone shall be effectively blocked...or an attendant shall be stationed to keep the area clear. Warning signs shall also be posted below.

(Boatswain’s Chair Above)

Motor May Start At Any Time

8 CCR 3320

There shall be conspicuously displayed at all machines driven by electric motors that are controlled by fully automatic starters and which may injure employees, legible signs giving warning that the machines are automatically controlled and may start at any time.

(Warning: Motor May Start At Any Time)

Power Take-Off (PTO) Guards

8 CCR 3440(c)(3)

Power Take-Off Guarding:  Signs, decals, etc., shall be placed at prominent locations on agricultural equipment specifying that power drive system guards shall be kept in place.

(Power Take-Off (PTO) Guards Shall Be Kept In Place)

Railcar Doorway Warning Signs

8 CCR 3332(d)

Warning signs shall be posted where (railcar) doorways open onto tracks, at blind corners and at similar places where vision may be restricted.

(Doorway Warning Signs)

Hazardous Atmosphere

8 CCR 3461(l)

To prevent inadvertent employee entry into spaces that have been identified as having hazardous, flammable or oxygen deficient atmospheres, appropriate warning signs or equivalent means shall be posted at all means of access to those spaces.

(Warning: Hazardous Atmosphere)

Access Prohibited to Lint Cleaner Saws in Cotton Gins

8 CCR 4640(g)

Warning signs shall be conspicuously posted at each (cotton gin) lint cleaner stating that employee access to lint cleaner saws is prohibited until the lint cleaner has been deenergized and locked out from its energy source and saw cylinder rotation has stopped.

(Warning: Access Prohibited)

Ultra-Violet Radiation

8 CCR 5079(b)

Areas, rooms or locations where equipment producing (ultra-violet) radiation is located shall be posted with warning signs or legends.

(Warning; Ultra-Violet Radiation)

Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard

8 CCR 5085(c)(1)

In areas where employee exposure may exceed the limits specified in part (b) of this section, employers shall provide warning signs containing the following information in the following manner:  Warning signs of RF radiation hazards… containing the necessary information…

(Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard)

No Cyanide in Nitrate Salt Bath

8 CCR 5188(b)(1)


No salt containing any cyanide or any organic compound shall be added to a salt bath containing nitrate. Proper warning signs to this effect shall be posted near all such (molten salt baths used for heat-treating of metallic objects).

(Warning: No Cyanide in Nitrate Salt Bath)


8 CCR 5223(a)(2)

Doors and windows shall be closed and sealed; and legible warning signs shall be posted at all entrances or approaches. Signs shall state premises under fumigation and type of gas used and shall not be removed till fumigation and ventilation are complete.

(Fumigation Warning)

Coyote Hole Blasting

8 CCR 5294(e)

The area being loaded for blasting shall be plainly marked both in front and on top of the bank to be blasted with appropriate warning signs.

(Coyote Hole Blasting)

Explosive Warning

8 CCR 5330(b)

Areas where explosive materials are regularly or frequently detonated or burned shall be fenced or provided with controlled access and posted with warning signs.

(Warning: Explosive Area)

Authorized Persons Only

8 CCR 1717(d)(6)(A)

Employees shall be prohibited from working below a building floor form installation, except those individuals actually engaged in this installation, removal, or inspection. Warning signs to this effect shall be posted at the perimeter of the affected work area.

(Authorized Persons Only)

Unauthorized persons stay out

8 CCR 1710(n)(6)(c)(4)

Signs meeting the requirements of the General Industry Safety Orders, Section 3340 shall be posted to warn unauthorized persons to stay out of the CDZ (Controlled Decking Zone - an area established specifically for the initial placement and securing of metal decking where access to the area is restricted…).

(Unauthorized persons stay out)

Water for Handwashing Only

8 CCR 3457(c)(2)(G)(4)

Handwashing facilities shall at all times meet the following standards:  Pure, wholesome, and potable water shall be available for handwashing.  Signs shall be posted, indicating that the water is only for handwashing purposes.

(Water for Handwashing Only)

Marine Terminal Signs


8 CCR 3465(d)

Every marine terminal shall have conspicuously posted signs as follows:  Locations of first aid facilities (and) telephones; telephone numbers of the closest ambulance service, hospital or other source of medical attention, police, fire department, and emergency squad (if any); and locations of firefighting and emergency equipment and fire exits.  Signs shall be clearly worded and legible, and shall contain a key word or legend indicating the reason for the sign.  Key words are such words as Danger, Warning, Caution.  Legends are more specific explanations such as High Voltage, Close Clearance, Pedestrian Crossing.

(Marine Terminal Signs)

Laundry Workers’ Warning

8 CCR 4494(b)

…persons handling soiled clothes shall be warned by signs in their work area against touching eyes, mouth, or any part of the body on which the skin has been broken, abrased, or injured, and against touching or eating food unless their hands have been thoroughly washed.

(Laundry Workers’ Warning)

Gas Piping Shut-Off Valves

8 CCR 4827(d)


Signs clearly establishing the location and identity of (gas piping) section shut-off valves shall be provided.

(Gas Piping Shut-Off Valves)

Falling Debris

8 CCR 1736(a)

Whenever waste material is dropped to any point lying outside the exterior walls of the building, enclosed chutes shall be used unless the area is effectively protected by barricades, fences or equivalent means. Signs shall be posted to warn employees of the hazards of falling debris.

(Warning: Falling Debris)

Falling Materials

8 CCR 1736(f)

When debris is dropped through holes in the floor without the use of chutes, the area onto which the material is dropped shall be completely enclosed with barricades not less than 42 inches high…  Signs warning of the hazard of falling materials shall be posted at each level.

(Warning: Falling Materials)

Falling Tools

8 CCR 1513(g)

Waste, materials, or tools shall not be thrown from buildings or structures to areas where employee(s) may be located, unless the area where the material falls is guarded…to prevent employee(s) from entering and being struck by falling objects. Signs shall be posted to warn employees of the hazard.

(Warning: Falling Tools)

Wheelchair Elevator Rules

8 CCR 3094.3(f)

Durable signs with lettering on a contrasting background shall be permanently and conspicuously posted at each landing indicating that passengers not in a wheelchair shall use the seat and seat belt, and passengers in a wheelchair shall secure the wheels of the wheelchair.

(Wheelchair Elevator Rules)

Pedestrian Traffic

8 CCR 3475(f)

Signs indicating pedestrian traffic shall be clearly posted at vehicular check-in and check-out lines and similar locations where employees may be working.

(Pedestrian Traffic)

Amusement Rides

8 CCR 3195.7(b)

The owner or operator shall use effective signs, videos, or other similarly effective means of advising patrons of…instructions, limitations, restrictions, and warnings deemed necessary for patron safety...  When signs are used for this purpose, they shall be permanently and conspicuously posted at each applicable permanent amusement ride.

(Safety on Amusement Rides)

Floor Loading Limits

8 CCR 3241(a)


The live loads for which each floor or portion thereof of a commercial or industrial building … shall have such design live loads conspicuously posted by the owner…using durable metal signs, and it shall be unlawful to remove or deface such notices. The occupant of the building shall be responsible for keeping the actual load below the allowable limits.

(Floor Loading Limits)


*NOTE: Required text as noted – where specific text is not required, Cal/OSHA suggested text is in (parentheses).


Disclaimer: This is obviously not an official Cal/OSHA publication, but it is a reasonable summation I have compiled over the years of some of Cal/OSHA's signage requirements. Please provide me with your comments and particularly with your suggestions for modifications, additions or subtractions to this list at  Since developing this website (in 2007), I have developed a comprehensive PowerPoint slideshow, with actual quotes from specific regulations: Feel free to take it and run with it. (I would appreciate getting credit, but this is the Internet...)

If you are searching for Cal/OSHA’s sign requirements at, remember to look for not just for “sign” and “signs,” but also for “posted,” “warning” and even other terms.  This isn’t as easy as it should be – that’s why I came up with this list.


Also be aware you will get hits for “signs” and symptoms of diseases, or a requirement that somebody “signs” a document.


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