How bright colors enhance visibility and lead to a safer workplace

Imagine the following items: a yellow school bus, a red stop sign, and an orange traffic cone.  What do all of these items have in common?  Each use bright colors to enhance safety.

Bright colors capture our attention.  Advertising agencies use vivid color to draw our eyes to their ads, commercials, and marketing initiatives.

Different colors grab our attention with varying degrees of success, but which color best pulls our attention?  While any bright color can draw our eyes to it, some colors inherently stand above the rest. 

A conference in the late 1930s sought to standardize the color of school buses, with a focus on safety.  The organizer of the conference, Dr. Frank Cyr, said that he and the other attendees at the conference always used safety as the first criteria for the school-bus standards.  This desire to create eye-catching school buses that increased safety was backed up by compelling evidence of yellow’s power for drawing our attention.

In 1937 it was determined that Safety Yellow was the best color to be noticed by the human brain and [from then on] all the school buses changed from being painted orange to Safety Yellow.  The color was chosen because it attracts attention and is noticed quickly in peripheral vision, faster than any other color. Scientists describe this as follows: "Lateral peripheral vision for detecting yellows is 1.24 times greater than for red.

While many colors are eye catching, it is clear that yellow is best for drawing the eye’s attention and helping keep people safeIndicating possible danger is the first step in preventing accidents, injuries, and deaths.

How many incidents could we prevent each year simply by using Safety Yellow?

Kee Safety believes there is a substantial difference when using Safety Yellow to draw the attention of a worker or pedestrian, alerting them of a danger.  Kee Safety’s entire Self-Closing Safety Gate line of products is available in a powder coated Safety Yellow finish for this very reason.

Help make your facility safe with a Self-Closing Safety Gate in the following applications:

  • Warehouse Exits & Entries
  • Ladder Ways
  • Floor Openings
  • Mezzanines
  • Loading Docks
  • Walkways
  • Work Platforms, Catwalks, Scaffolding