Understanding NOM 026 STPS: a critical set of regs for warehouses in Mexico 

NOM 026 STPS is a key set of safety legislation in Mexico, covering the use of colors and signs in warehouses and distribution centers.
Danger sign by Natalie Dmay on Unsplash to illustrate article on NOM 026 STPS

The government of Mexico implements a set of standards designed to ensure the well-being of workers in various industries. NOM 026 STPS is one of these regulations and it establishes specific requirements for safety signs, colors, and symbols in workplaces such as a warehouse.  

Like NOM 006 STPS, which is dedicated to handling and storing materials in a Mexican warehouse, NOM 026 STPS is a mandatory standard issued by the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS). It provides clear guidelines on effectively conveying important safety information to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in logistics businesses. 

NOM 026 STPS was created based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for graphic symbols, colors, and safety signs. It is applicable nationwide and shows, among other points, the obligations of employers and personnel. 

Serviap Logistics helps set up, refit, and relocate warehouses and distribution centers in Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, in full compliance with all regulations in each country.  

Contact us for more information. 

Importance of NOM 026 STPS in Mexican warehouses

NOM 026 STPS is mandatory in different industries in Mexico. It must be implemented in every warehouse or local distribution center, for a number of different reasons. 

Hard hats in storage to illustrate article on NOM 026 STPS. By Pop Zebra on Unsplash.
Safety is paramount in Mexican warehouses

Worker safety: the primary objective of NOM 026 STPS is to safeguard the well-being of workers. By providing clear and consistent warehouse safety standards, any logistics business reduces the risk of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. It also helps employers minimize their liability for workplace accidents. 

Legal compliance: following the provisions of NOM 026 STPS is mandatory in Mexico. Employers who fail to adhere to these regulations can face legal consequences, such as fines or costly shutdowns. 

Increased productivity: a safe work environment boosts employee morale and productivity. Workers who feel safe and secure will likely be more engaged and focused on their tasks as operators in a warehouse or distribution center. 

Global standards: NOM 026 STPS aligns with international occupational safety standards, such as ISO, making it easier for Mexican companies to compete globally. It also ensures that foreign firms in Mexico comply with recognized safety criteria. 

Key provisions in the NOM 026 STPS 

To fully understand NOM 026 STPS, it is necessary to look at what it covers, and the obligations of the employer and employees: 

Safety signs: the standard mandates using safety signs to indicate potential hazards, emergency exits, and the location of safety equipment. These signs must be visible, easily understandable, and consistently applied throughout the warehouse or distribution center. 

Colors and symbols: NOM 026 STPS establishes the following standardized color code and symbols to convey specific safety-related information: 

Safety color Meaning Indications and details 
Red Stop Stop signs and emergency devices 
Prohibition Signs to prohibit specific actions 
Material, equipment and systems for firefighting Location of equipment and identification of pipes that carry fluids for firefighting 
Yellow Danger warning Attention, caution, verification and identification of pipes that carry dangerous fluids 
Delimitation of areas Limits of restricted areas or specific uses 
Danger warning from ionizing radiation Signage to indicate the presence of radioactive material 
Green Safe conditions Identification of pipes that carry low risk fluids. Signs to indicate emergency exits, evacuation routes, safety and first aid areas, meeting places, emergency showers, eyewashes, among others 
Blue Obligation Signs to carry out specific actions 
Different colours carry different significances in Mexico
Serviap Logistics graphic showing the standardized shapes for NOM 026 STPS in Mexico
The standardized shapes used in Mexican safety regulations

Employer’s obligations: the employer must locate the safety and hygiene signs, preventing them from being obstructed. Also, they must provide adequate training to their workers to understand the meaning of the safety signs, colors, and symbols related to NOM 026 STPS. 

Employee obligations: workers must participate in training activities, respect and apply the NOW 026 STPS guidelines as established by the employer, and use all safety equipment well. 

Compliance audits: regulatory authorities may conduct inspections to verify compliance with NOM 026 STPS. Non-compliance may result in sanctions and/or fines for employers. 

NOM 026 STPS: compliance risks and solutions 

NOM 026 STPS is a strict local standard, so adherence can be challenging for some companies. Below are the most common compliance issues and some solutions to address them: 

Lack of awareness: some employers may be unaware of the requirements outlined in NOM 026 STPS. In this case, they can approach a warehouse setup consultant, an expert with extensive knowledge of local regulations that help logistics businesses operate smoothly. 

Implementation cost: implementing safety signs and symbols can be costly for companies, especially when good quality and more durable materials are chosen. However, the potential savings from avoiding accidents and legal fines outweigh these costs. 

Safety sign to illustrate article on NOM 026 STPS. By Troy Bridges on Unsplash.
Different languages may be necessary

Language barriers: in workplaces with diverse and multilingual workforces, language barriers may exist. In these cases, it is essential to use universally recognized symbols and incorporate signage in multiple languages where necessary. 

Regular maintenance: ensuring the durability and visibility of safety signs can be a challenge. In this case, it is best to have a maintenance program in place in addition to regular industrial warehouse cleaning. This will keep the signs in good condition and free of dirt.  


NOM 026 STPS is fundamental to preserving the safety and well-being of employees in warehouses, distribution centers, and logistics parks in Mexico. By adhering to its provisions, employers comply with their legal obligations and create safer and more productive work environments.  

For companies operating in Mexico or planning to expand into the Mexican market, understanding and complying with NOM 026 STPS is non-negotiable. Companies can thrive competitively and responsibly by prioritizing workplace safety and following the regulations outlined in the standard. 

The provisions are designed to save lives, prevent accidents, and protect companies from legal repercussions. Employers should consider compliance with NOM 026 STPS not only as a regulatory obligation but as a commitment to the safety and well-being of their workforce. 

Serviap Logistics offers compliant warehouse setup  

At Serviap Logistics, we are experts in setting up, refitting, and relocating warehouses in Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. Everywhere we work, we do so in full compliance with local regulations, such as NOM 026 STPS. 

Our portfolio includes supplying and installing signage, racking, floor marking, and collision barriers, as well as providing labeling. 

Thanks to our ability to meet tight deadlines without sacrificing quality or safety, we have become the trusted partner for some of the world’s largest companies, covering the wholesale, automotive, and e-commerce sectors, among others. 

Contact us to find out how we can assist you.

Serviap Logistics can help with safety regulations in Mexico, the USA and Brazil

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