Safety and Warning Notices
An instruction manual should facilitate the safe usage of a piece of equipment. This is why all potential hazards must be indicated, either with safety notices or warning notices.
Safety notices are mostly found in their own dedicated chapter, right at the start of the instructions. They have clear headings (e.g.: “Hazard Zones”, “How to Act in an Emergency”), but otherwise resemble normal text. Safety notices should make the reader aware of hazards and instruct them as to what they should know and observe before using the equipment. They are, therefore, ideal for use in training courses. In short, reading the safety notices makes the reader more aware of safety issues related to the product.
Warning notices, on the other hand, give clear, real warnings about dangerous situations. They appear in instructions alongside calls to action. Warning notices typically feature a colour-coded signal word – usually DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION or ATTENTION – which is assigned according to the severity of the consequences.
Example warning notice
The type of hazard follows the signal word, where the consequences of being in this hazardous situation are described. At the end, ways of escaping or avoiding this hazardous situation are given. In short, those who take the warning notices seriously will not put themselves in danger.