Pipes are utilized everywhere, they are the number one way to transport gases, liquids, and other substances through buildings, underground areas, and virtually anywhere. The average person usually doesn’t label all the pipes in his or her home since they most likely do not carry highly pressurized or very hazardous materials and are often hidden in walls or floors. However, pipe labeling is crucial in the workplace, especially when pipes are out in the open work zone and visible to employees and visitors. Labels on pipes help to inform people about the contents of the pipe. For instance, some pipes may carry highly pressurized gases while others may carry corrosive, toxic materials.
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Mark Pipes Accurately and According to the Hazard
Pipe markings should never be taken for granted. When pipes are marked it helps to inform everyone about the contents within each specific pipe. Check out this helpful pipe marking list to make sure you are crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s on your pipe marking mission.
· Above ground pipes are color-coded with labels according to ANSI’s guidelines.
· Pipes are labeled at reasonable intervals and on all valves, connections, and outlets to avoid confusion.
· A color-code chart for pipe contents is posted as a reference for employees.
· Labels and tags identifying hazardous pipes should be durable, resistant to moisture, and graded for industrial usage.
· The font used on pipe labels is large and easy-to-read.
· Low-lying pipes are clearly marked so employees do not hit their heads on them.
· Temperature and pressure levels are indicated on pipe labels when needed.
· Markings should utilize arrows to describe directional flow of contents.
· All pipe markings should be easily seen. For instance, markings should be placed on the top side of pipes when employees look downward at pipes, and marking should be placed on the bottom side of pipes when employees must look upward to see pipes.
· Regular inspection of pipes and pipe labels should be done to ensure that labels are still in acceptable condition. Any labels that need to be replaced should be replaced immediately.
· Employees should be trained regarding what pipe labels mean and how to avoid pipe-related hazards.
Pipes Carrying Potable Water
Even though many pipes are known to carry substances that can detrimental to human health, there are also pipes that contain safe liquids such as potable water. The term potable water simply means water that is clean and suitable for drinking or safe for being used in water facets, etc. Even though potable water pipes do not pose huge risks when compared to the contents of other pipes, they should still be marked for easy identification.
When walking around any industrial work environment, employees should be able to know and understand the contents within each visible pipe. If a pipe is not labeled, confusion may set in regarding a pipe’s contents and when confusion becomes a factor there is always an increased risk for a potential accident. Follow the guidelines necessary to create a safe and visual pipe marking system in your workplace.