Environmental Health & Safety

Laboratory Signage Program


Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Facilities Operations have worked together to improve worker protection, emergency response, and security for laboratories using a laboratory notification and warning sign. The goals of the Laboratory Signage Program are to:

  1. Protect human health and safety.
  2. Protect research.
  3. Identify what types of personal protective equipment and information are needed before entering the laboratory to protect oneself or the research in the laboratory.
  4. Provide a flexible program that customizes a laboratory entrance sign for each type of lab that can be updated as the hazards in the lab change.

To create a sign you must be a registered user.

To register or sign in, click here.

After you have registered, please wait for EH&S to contact you and approve you as a user. Once you are approved, use the same link above to sign in to the program.

Laboratory sign information should be reviewed and updated annually.

Training and assistance in using the Laboratory Signage Program are available through EH&S. If you have any questions about the program please contact Environmental Health and Safety by phone at 335-3041.

Signage Program Tips

The business hours phone number should be the Principal Investigator's (PI) office number.

The emergency contact numbers should be phone numbers where the person can in most instances, be reached any time of the day. This will most likely be a cell phone. There should be at least two emergency contacts and one of those should always be the PI. Emergency contacts should be lab members with sufficient knowledge of the chemicals, equipment and processes in that specific lab so they can provide this valuable information in an emergency situation to responders if necessary. Beside the PI, these individuals will usually be lab managers or post-docs.  

Program Changes as a Result of New Hazard Communication Standard

The Laboratory Signage Program has been updated to reflect recent changes to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-901, Hazard Communication. This standard has been aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of classifying and labeling chemicals, or GHS for short. Specifically, the standard establishes new symbols called pictograms, which are required on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

These new pictograms are now included in the Laboratory Signage Program. While you may be familiar with some of the pictograms, others are brand new or may be unfamiliar to some people. Some of the pictograms represent one type of chemical hazard (e.g. acute toxicity) while others represent multiple hazards (e.g. carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive toxicity, etc.).

To aid users of the Laboratory Signage Program and assure that appropriate information is displayed on the signs, a description of what the pictograms represent has been placed below. You can also access a printable PDF version of this information by clicking here.

Pictograms and Hazards

Health Hazard

Health Hazard Pictogram


Respiratory Sensitizer

Reproductive Toxicity

Target Organ Toxicity


Aspiration Toxicity


Flame Pictogram





Emits Flammable Gas

Organic Peroxides

Exclamation Mark

 Exclamation Mark Pictogram


Skin Sensitizer

Acute Toxicity (harmful)

Narcotic Effects

Respiratory Tract Irritant

Gas Cylinder

Gas Cylinder Pictogram

Gases Under Pressure


Corrosion Pictogram

Skin Corrosion/Burns

Eye Damage

Corrosive to Metals

Exploding Bomb

Exploding Bomb Pictogram



Organic Peroxides

Flame Over Circle

Flame Over Circle Pictogram



Environment Pictogram

Aquatic Toxicity

Skull and Crossbones

Skull and Crossbones Pictogram

Acute Toxicity (fatal/severe)

    * Non-Mandatory Under WAC 296-901, Hazard Communication.

Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us