If no local labeling standards exist, it is recommended to use existing ANSI, OSHA, and NFPA standards. Lettering on pipe labels should have a minimum height and length size that changes based on the outside diameter of the pipe, including casing, insulation, or covering. Labels should be positioned on the pipes so they can be easily read from ground level.
Identifying pipe labels with different color tape based on pipe contents is also a requirement. Color choices are based on flammability, corrosive/toxic, combustible, fire quenching, and compressed air. Arrows indicating flow direction are placed before and after the text. These colors give quick reference for maintenance and fire crews. Upstream or downstream vessels or machine identification numbers can be used to further clarify pipe contents. It is recommended to include the line number or individual markings on the label, as this will allow easy cross reference for future maintenance.
Signs and labels impact every inch of a mine or quarry. There’s a good chance traffic signs, facility signs, no smoking/cell phone signs, mine permit boundary signs, and identification tags for exploration, as well as valve tags and Arc Flash NFPA70E signs, will be needed.
Marking tools with colors, numbers, and barcodes reduces theft and loss, and color-marking hard hats and equipment to differentiate shifts and departments keeps people, as well as tools, in their sector. When short-term electrical outages occur, signs that are visible in the dark help people find their way.
Generic signs don’t cut it
Signs and labels that are site specific to company policy make all the difference for new hires, visitors, and subcontractors. Multilingual signs support a global workplace encompassing Africa, Europe, Australia, Asia, and North and South America.
“Generic signs just don’t meet our needs,” said Heather Renton, wash plant maintenance, Peace River Coal, Tumbler Ridge, BC, Canada. “Creating our own labels makes us look good and saves us thousands of dollars.”
Call it the autonomy of the label printer. Each mine or quarry controls when and how frequently to create signs and labels. If employees see an accident waiting to happen, they can zip right back to the office, print out a sign, and post it on the spot. No waiting for approval. No paperwork to fill out. No injury…or worse. AM
Martin Carter has been providing safety solutions to mining companies throughout Canada, North America, Africa, and Australia for over eight years. As the global mining manager for Graphic Products, Inc., he is a strategist and consultant working directly with mine safety managers to customize and implement safety identification programs that meet compliance requirements while improving mine communications and security. He can be reached at email@example.com, or at 800-788-5572, ext. 5683.
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