Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2000

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

One-Jang Jeng

Second Advisor

Arijit K. Sengupta

Third Advisor

Norman J. Van Houten


In today's work environment, many dangers exist around that can harm workers who are not aware of the hazards in their environment. If these workers happen to be visually impaired, then identifying those hazards with the present labeling systems would be difficult. The Hazardous Material Information System (HMIS) was chosen to be adapted with tactile patterns and numbers. The tactile patterns and numbers would not change the layout and intent of the HMIS, but enhance its effectiveness.

Five tactile patterns and five tactile numbers were designed to be recognizable and simple. The patterns and numbers were tested and observed to learn if they could be recognized without being mistaken for another pattern. Twenty subjects volunteered, 14 males and 6 females, to participate in the experiment. The twenty subjects were provided two different sizes of the patterns making a total of 2000 observations. The three most recognizable tactile patterns were chosen out of the five and assigned a color consistent with the HMIS.