Now that spring has arrived and everything is thawing out, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your facility’s pipe labels.
Maybe your labels took a beating over the winter and could use some cleaning. Maybe they’ve been in place for many years and are starting to look worn. Maybe you just haven’t thought about them in a while.
When the weather improves, it’s a good time to assess your pipe marking system outdoors, and while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to take a look at all your indoor pipe markers, too.
Why do pipe markers matter?
Pipe marking labels are not only required by the ANSI/ASME A13.1 standard (which is accepted by OSHA as best practice guidelines), they also play an important role in keeping employees safe at work. Some pipes contain highly hazardous chemicals, while others contain fire-fighting liquids. It’s critical that people can identify which pipe is which quickly, especially during an emergency.
It’s also important to remember that all pipes should be labeled, not just those that carry hazardous substances.
What should pipe labels look like?
Most pipes should be labeled according to the ANSI/ASME standard mentioned above, but it’s worth noting that ammonia pipes should be marked according to the IIAR Bulletin 114. You’ll find information about labeling these pipes and others containing highly hazardous chemicals in our new Pipe Marking for Process Safety Management (PSM) Guide.
For all other pipe marking applications, you can consult our 30-page guide to pipe marking according to the ANSI/ASME A13.1 standard.
How can you make pipe labels last longer?
If you mark pipes properly, you shouldn’t have to replace your labels very often. Follow these tips to make pipe markers that last:
- Choose the right label supply for your application. Our indoor/outdoor label supply works well for most pipe marking applications. In some cases, though, you might want to use high temperature supply, cold storage supply, marine supply, or high performance 10-year supply. If you have stainless steel or nickel pipes, vinyl label material can corrode them; using low halide label supply will solve this problem.
- Apply labels to clean surfaces. The labels’ adhesive works best on clean pipes.
- Clean your labels once in a while. Removing dirt and contaminants means people can read them more easily, too.
Be sure to check out all of our pipe marking resources!
Pipe Marking Guide (30+ pages)
Tools for Pipe Marking:
Pipe Marking Bundle (Includes printer, supply, and ribbon.)
- Asbestos Labeling Standards
- OSHA – Important Dates in 2017
- LinkedIn Corner: Are Shorts Safe in Specific Work Environments?
- OSHA Updates on PPE
- OSHA’s Training Program Operating Efficiently According to GAO
- What Safety Metrics Really Make the Difference