Tactile warning triangles

Date Posted:2 June, 2024

Product: Tactile Warnings

Tactile warning label

Tactile warning triangles

Essential safety measures and legislation

In today’s safety-conscious environment, ensuring that products are accessible and safe for everyone, including those with visual impairments, is paramount. One significant element in achieving this is the use of tactile warning triangles. These small, raised symbols play a critical role in alerting visually impaired individuals to potential hazards, particularly those associated with dangerous substances. This article delves into the importance of tactile warning triangles, their requirements, and the European legislation that mandates their use.

What are tactile warning triangles?

A non-visual warning

Tactile warning triangles, also known as tactile danger warning labels, are small, equilateral triangles with a raised profile. They are designed to be felt by touch, providing a non-visual warning to visually impaired individuals about the presence of hazardous materials. These triangles are commonly used on packaging for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other dangerous goods.

Why are tactile warning triangles important?

A recognisable indication

For visually impaired individuals, tactile warning triangles serve as a crucial safety feature. They provide an immediate and recognisable indication that the item they are handling contains hazardous substances. This tactile feedback helps prevent accidental exposure to dangerous chemicals or products, thereby reducing the risk of harm.

Legislation on tactile warning triangles

The standards to know about

The use of tactile warning triangles is not just a best practice but a legal requirement in Europe. Several key pieces of legislation outline the necessity for these tactile warnings to ensure the safety of visually impaired individuals.

1. Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation)

The Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation, aligned with the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals, is one of the primary pieces of legislation mandating the use of tactile warnings. According to this regulation, any packaging containing substances that are classified as hazardous must feature tactile warning signs. This requirement aims to ensure that visually impaired individuals can identify hazardous products without needing visual cues.

2. Directive 2001/83/EC on Medicinal Products for Human Use

This directive requires that all medicinal products that are dangerous must include tactile warning triangles on their packaging. The aim is to protect patients and consumers from inadvertent contact with or ingestion of harmful substances.

3. BS EN ISO 11683:2018

BS EN ISO 11683:2018 provides specific guidelines on the tactile warnings of dangerous goods. It details the design, dimensions, and placement of tactile warning triangles, ensuring consistency and effectiveness across all packaging.

Requirements for tactile warning triangles

Size matters

The legislation and standards specify several requirements for tactile warning triangles to ensure they are effective and recognisable:

Shape and Size: Tactile warning triangles must be equilateral triangles. While the standard size for these triangles is typically 18 mm on each side, smaller triangles with sides measuring at least 9 mm are also permitted under certain conditions, particularly for smaller packaging where space is limited.

Height: The raised profile of the triangle must be at least 0.25 mm to ensure it is easily detectable by touch.

Placement: The triangles should be placed on a flat surface of the packaging where they are easily accessible to touch.

Material: The material used for the tactile warning must be durable and remain effective throughout the product’s lifecycle.

Implementing tactile warning triangles in your business

We can help

For businesses involved in the production and packaging of hazardous substances, adhering to these regulations is crucial. Implementing tactile warning triangles not only ensures compliance with European legislation but also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and safety.

Here are some steps to implement tactile warning triangles effectively:

1. Assess Your Products: Identify which products require tactile warning triangles based on their classification as hazardous substances.

2. Source Quality Labels: We provide tactile warnings in two standard sizes from stock, these are to the industry standard specification and can be applied by hand or using a label applicator. Further to this we are able to integrate tactile warnings into any label we supply. Learn more here.

3. Ensure Proper Application: Make sure the triangles are correctly placed on the packaging according to the specified guidelines.

4. Regular Audits: Conduct regular checks to ensure compliance with the legislation and standards, making adjustments as necessary.

In summary

An important packaging element

Tactile warning triangles are a vital component in making hazardous products safe and accessible for visually impaired individuals. Adhering to European legislation not only ensures compliance but also enhances the safety and inclusivity of your products. By understanding and implementing these requirements, businesses can contribute to a safer environment for all.

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