Pipe marking means more than just following a set of regulations or standards. It’s an essential part of any facility safety program. Properly marked pipes provide essential information where it’s needed most, improving safety and increasing efficiency.
Elements of an Effective Pipe Marker
In general, there are five elements that make an effective pipe label. These elements are used by most pipe marking standards:
Color coding provides important information about the hazard presented by the pipe’s contents.
Text identifies the pipe’s contents by name and may also indicate temperature or pressure (if either presents a hazard).
Direction of flow to indicate the direction in which the content flows, or if the contents can flow in either direction.
Label and text sizeguidelines ensure your labels can be read and understood from a distance.
Label placement recommendations ensure that workers can locate the information they need.
Each of these elements work together to form a pipe marking system that provides the information workers need most. Learn more about pipe marking elements with the Best Practice Guide to Pipe Marking by Graphic Products. The guide covers several standards, detailing when and how they should be used.
What Standard Should I Use?
The standard you use depends on the facility’s type and its location. There are many standards that may apply in different situations. Some common standards used in the US include:
If your facility is located in the United Kingdom or Europe, you will need to follow relevant standards, which may include:
BS 1710-2014 for marking pipes in general facilities, for refrigeration, for water treatment, and more
The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) 1996 for general facility pipe marking
No matter where in the world you are located, check with your local authorities to ensure that you are fully complying with the law.
When it comes to piping, workers need a way to accurately and consistently identify the hazards they may face. Pipe marking meets this challenge by:
Presenting information in an easy-to-understand and consistent format
Enabling workers to identify hazards with a quick glance
Supporting your hazard communication program
Supported by a simple, yet effective color-coding system, workers will recognize hazards and be prepared with the right tools. For example, ANSI/ASME A13.1 uses six predefined colors and four user-defined colors to identify hazards. Workers know that a yellow label means they need to take extra safety precautions for fire hazards. They have an increased safety awareness when and where it matters most.
Pipe marking can also improve safety by supporting your hazard communication program. OSHA requires employers to create an in-depth hazard communication program as part of HazCom 2012. Instead of creating a customized plan for communicating hazards related to your facility’s pipes, take advantage of a relevant pre-existing standard, like ANSI/ASME A13.1. Make it an essential part of your hazard communication and training program.
Improve efficiency and reduce costs. Properly labeled pipes help workers perform daily tasks and maintenance. They are more confident about their work environment and can:
Quickly move from one task to the next, filling beakers and other containers without having to reference charts or binders.
Spend less time referencing schematics and technical specs. Instead, workers track issues intuitively because much of the needed information is on the pipes.
The information is located at the point-of-use, reducing errors and mistakes. Workers know the exact contents of a pipe, every time. Watch the video below to learn more about how pipe marking and color coding can help improve efficiency in your facility.
Pipe Marking Solutions
Getting started with pipe marking is easy with Graphic Products' line of DuraLabel printers and supplies. Choose the DuraLabel PRO label and sign printer to design and print pipe labels up to 4" wide. Have a job that requires extra mobility? DuraLabel Toro label and sign printer lets you print labels onsite and on the go with an optional lithium-ion battery.
No matter which DuraLabel printer you choose, you can:
Design pipe labels with just a few clicks using DuraSuite Labeling Software
Use durable labels that will last for many years
Add hazard pictograms, arrows, and other graphics to meet your facility's unique needs
With a DuraLabel printer, you can do more than create pipe markers. Create custom safety signs and labels for your entire facility with a database of over 1,800 symbols.