The origins of this convention dates back to the railroad signaling practices of 1830s. The first road use was in Dec, 1868 in London. However, red, as the color of blood, was used as a danger signal by the Roman legions, as they bore red banners into battle 2,000 years ago.
The interpretation of red, yellow, and green for status is consistent globally due to the UNESCO Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (
). Chapter III, Traffic Light Signals Article 23 (Signals for vehicular traffic) defines the worldwide convention for traffic lights.
There is a Microsoft convention dealing with this issue that references the above (
With respect to CFR 21 regulations, I don’t believe there anything specific regarding colors. However, I am aware of issue with an infusion pump where the start and stop buttons were located too close together. This issue let to a global recall and re-design of the input device.
Finally, from a safety perspective, this is beyond words. Depending on what the system does, the only thing I can think of is res ipsa.