In most facilities, pipes are used to safely bring various different chemicals and solutions to locations where they are needed. This is a safe and efficient way to transport all sorts of different liquids and gasses. No matter what is contained within the pipes, however, it is critical that steps are taken to ensure they do not cause damage or harm to people or equipment in the area. One of the best ways to do this is by making it clear what is contained in each pipe, and what each valve will release when opened.
The easiest and most efficient way to accomplish that goal is to use pipe markings and valve tags. These are simple, affordable, and easy to install. They are also extremely easy to read by anyone who is working with or on the various pipe systems, which can help to dramatically reduce the risk of an accident.
Why are Markings and Tags Needed?
Anyone who has seen piping systems within a facility knows that it can get very complex. There are often miles of pipes running through the ceiling, under the floor, and into various machines. It is not easy to follow a specific pipe from start to finish, which makes it possible that someone might be working with or on the incorrect pipe or valve. If they release what is in the pipe and it is not what they are expecting, it can be very dangerous.
For example, if someone opens a valve expecting it to contain water for cleaning, but it actually contains ammonia, the individual could be seriously injured. Depending on what types of dangerous chemicals are used in a given facility, accessing the wrong pipe could cause health hazards, fire hazards, damage to equipment, and much more. Fortunately, using pipe markings and valve tags is very easy and effective.
How to Use Pipe Markings
Pipe markings are simply labels that are made specifically for use on pipes. Their design makes them easily visible on the rounded shape of a pipe. The size of the label and the text are also chosen specifically to ensure they are readable on the pipes where they will be applied. Each label should contain information such as what the pipe contains, which direction the contents flow, any specific hazards associated with the contents of the pipe, and more.
Since pipes often travel significant distances within a facility, it is important to know where to place pipe marking labels. It is not enough to simply put a label at the start of the pipe, and another at the end. The specific positioning of pipe markings will be determined based on visibility, size of the pipes, and more. For example, you should place labels close enough to each other so that at least one of them is visible to people in the area. In addition, any time a pipe makes a turn or goes through a wall, a marking should be placed on both sides to ensure visibility.
How to Use Valve Tags
Valve tags are also very easy to use. These tags are attached to every valve in the facility and need to contain key information about what opening the valve will do. This can include simple text that says what the pipe contains, hazard information, and more. There are multiple different versions of valve tags to choose from, including those that clip on, wrap around, or are applied using some type of adhesive.
One of the most important things to remember when choosing and applying your valve tags is that they must be durable. If you are applying a valve tag to a pipe that contains water, for example, you want to make sure that it is not going to be damaged when exposed to water or moisture. Likewise, if the pipe contains some type of corrosive chemical, make sure to use a tag made from a material that will not corrode. Using valve tags properly will ensure they last a long time so that people working on or near valves know the key information about them and can stay safe.
Standardize Throughout the Facility
It is generally not enough to simply start applying valve tags and pipe markings as you install or work on equipment in the facility. You must first come up with a set of standards for how these safety items will be used. Making sure that all the labels and tags throughout the facility are made using the same format, the same color schemes, and the same placement will make them much more useful. Making it as easy as possible for employees to identify what is in pipes will help to ensure everyone in the facility is able to stay safe at all times.
- Valve Tags: Guide for Pipe Identification– creativesafetysupply.com
- The Importance of Valve Tags in Pipe Marking– blog.creativesafetysupply.com
- Pipe Marking – 7 Things You Should Know– babelplex.com
- Great Pipe Marking Examples– lean-news.com
- Where are Pipe Labels Required?– iecieeechallenge.org
- ANSI Pipe Marking Standards– bridge-to-safety.com
- Pipe Marking for Your Facility– hiplogic.com
- Pipe Marking Standards– safetyblognews.com
- Labels that Last: Pipe Labels Exposed to Extreme Weather– blog.labeltac.com