Societal security — Emergency management — Guidelines for colour-coded alerts

ISO 22324:2015 provides guidelines for the use of colour codes to inform people at risk as well as first response personnel about danger and to express the severity of a situation. It is applicable to all types of hazard in any location. This International Standard does not cover the method for displaying colour codes, detailed ergonomic considerations related with viewing displays, or safety signs covered by ISO 3864‑1.

Sécurité sociétale — Gestion des urgences — Lignes directrices relatives aux alertes à code couleur

General Information

Status
Withdrawn
Publication Date
07-Jun-2015
Current Stage
9599 - Withdrawal of International Standard
Completion Date
13-Dec-2022
Ref Project

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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 22324
First edition
2015-06-15
Societal security — Emergency
management — Guidelines for colour-
coded alerts
Sécurité sociétale — Gestion des urgences — Lignes directrices
relatives aux alertes à code couleur
Reference number
ISO 22324:2015(E)
ISO 2015
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 22324:2015(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2015, Published in Switzerland

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ii © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO 22324:2015(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Guidance for use of colour codes ......................................................................................................................................................... 2

4.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Colour codes to express the status of hazard ............................................................................................................... 2

4.2.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2.2 Typical colours for colour-coding system .................................................................................................. 2

4.2.3 Order and position for the red, yellow and green spectrum ...................................................... 3

4.3 Colour codes to give supplementary information .................................................................................................... 3

4.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

4.3.2 Black and purple .............................................................................................................................................................. 4

4.3.3 Blue .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

4.3.4 Grey ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

4.4 Consideration for human factors and colour blindness ...................................................................................... 4

4.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

4.4.2 Colour names ...................................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.4.3 Text colours .......................................................................................................................................................................... 5

Annex A (informative) Examples on the use of colour codes in practice ........................................................................ 6

Annex B (informative) Recommendations for colour selection ............................................................................................... 9

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................11

© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 22324:2015(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2. www.iso.org/directives

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of any

patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or on

the ISO list of patent declarations received. www.iso.org/patents

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity

assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical Barriers

to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information
The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 292, Security.
iv © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO 22324:2015(E)
Introduction

People may be faced in their daily lives with various kinds of risks. People at risk should be able to take

appropriate safety actions when faced with hazards even though they may not have a full understanding

of them.

Public warnings, through a combination of prior notifications and alerts, enable people at risk to take

appropriate and timely actions to protect their safety.

Colour-coded alerts are used to notify people at risk of status changes on a safety or danger continuum

in allowing them to take appropriate actions.

This International Standard will lead to better understanding of colour-coded alerts by reducing

confusion and prompting more appropriate responses in an emergency situation.
© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved v
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 22324:2015(E)
Societal security — Emergency management — Guidelines
for colour-coded alerts
1 Scope

This International Standard provides guidelines for the use of colour codes to inform people at risk as

well as first response personnel about danger and to express the severity of a situation. It is applicable

to all types of hazard in any location.

This International Standard does not cover the method for displaying colour codes, detailed ergonomic

considerations related with viewing displays, or safety signs covered by ISO 3864-1.

2 Normative references

The following documents, in whole or in part, are normatively referenced in this document and are

indispensable for its application. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated

references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 3864-1, Graphical symbols — Safety colours and safety signs — Part 1: Design principles for safety signs

and safety markings

ISO 22322, Societal security — Emergency management — Guidelines for public warning

3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO 22300 and the following apply.

NOTE All terms and definitions contained in ISO 22300 are available on the ISO Online Browsing Platform:

www.iso.org/obp.
3.1
alert

part of public warning that captures attention of first responders and people at risk in a developing

emergency situation
[SOURCE: ISO 22322, definition 3.1]
3.2
colour blindness
total or partial inability to differentiate certain hues
[SOURCE: ISO 5492:2008, definition 2.34]
3.3
colour-code
set of colours used symbolically to represent particular meanings
[SOURCE: ISO 17724:2003, definition 11]
3.4
hue

attribute of a visual sensation according to which an area appears to be similar to one of the perceived

colours, red, yellow, green, and blue, or to a combination of two of them
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 8632-1:1999, definition 4.1.61]
© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved 1
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ISO 22324:2015(E)
4 Guidance for use of colour codes
4.1 General

Red, yellow and green (and the spectrum in between in terms of hue) should be used to express the

status of a hazard. Black, purple, blue and grey should be used to give supplementary information about

the hazard.
4.2 Colour codes to express the status of hazard
4.2.1 General

Red is associated with danger and should be used to notify people at risk to take appropriate safety

actions immediately.

Yellow is associated with caution and should be used to notify people at risk to prepare to take

appropriate safety actions.

Green is associated with a safe status and should be used to notify people at risk that no action is

required.

This International Standard does not define danger, caution or safety other than the suggested meaning

given in Table 1.
Experts should classify the status of hazard into danger, caution or safe.
Table 1 — Colour codes
Colour Associated meaning Proposed action
Red Danger Take appropriate safety action immediately
Yellow Caution Prepare to take appropriate safety action
Green Safe No action required
4.2.2 Typical colours for colour-coding system

If more than three colours are needed to express the level of hazard, the colours and supporting

information should be based on the following:

— the number of level of hazard should be minimized in order to limit the number of colours being

used;
— hues between the red and green spectrum should be chosen;
— no more than seven colours should be used to avoid confusion;
— supporting i
...

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