The Importance of Pipemarkers and Identification

In an industrial workplace, pipes transport hazardous substances and energy, making them a key candidate for safety considerations. Most safety regulations have specific guidelines on pipe markings and identification, but do you know why is it critical to pay attention to pipe markings?

Importance of pipe identification

Having a successful pipe identification program helps both employees and external contractors quickly and effortlessly distinguish between pipes during maintenance. Pipe markers also enhance and facilitate traceability for repairs, saving you time and money. In emergency situations, pipe markers aid emergency responders in the quick identification of pipes’ contents, and can make a difference between life and death.

Are you using the right pipe markings?

There are several guidelines to proper pipe identification and marking, some specific to industries and countries, but in general there are 7 international industry standards as reference. Compliance to the relevant guidelines will ensure proper deployment of the markings for your specific facility.

Some guidelines such as the ASME A13.1-1996 and Health & Safety Signs Regulation (1.4.96) provide a general coverage of the specification of pipe contents and their hazards, while others such as the ISO 14726 provide very specific principle colours for Marine pipe identification in ship & offshore sites. Always consult your local safety regulatory office or professional for the guidelines that apply to your specific locality and industry.

How should you start identifying your pipes?

When implementing pipe markers, you should pay attention to four key areas, namely the format of the standard used, colour schemes of the pipe application, text height based on the required pipe size and visibility based on the infrastructure. Seek assistance from a professional workplace safety consultant if you need help in ascertaining the correct standards to follow.

It is also critical that you install the pipe markers for maximum visibility based on the piping flow direction. Here are six simple tips on how you can do so:

  1. Pipes should be identified using pipe markers in the following cases, with arrows indicating the direction of flow.
  2. Pipes should be marked adjacent to all valves and flanges
  3. Pipes should be marked adjacent to change in directions
  4. Pipes should be marked every 25’ to 50’ interval on straight runs
  5. Pipes should be marked at both sides of the floor or wall penetrations
  6. Pipe markers should be located in positions such that they are readily visible to personnel in the facility from the point of normal approach.

Choose the right pipe markers

Many workplace facilities have harsh environmental conditions, and your pipe markings should be tested rigorously to ensure that they remain visible and in place even after long periods. Before you purchase your pipe markings, check with your vendor if the pipe markers are tested in a simulated outdoor environment with UV and humidity testing to prevent premature fading or peeling. If the pipes in your facility are subjected to high temperature, be sure to insist on a temperature rating for your pipe markers. Finally, only purchase pipe identification that are resistant against solvents such as salt, acid and base, which may corrode your pipe markers and undermine all your efforts for a safe workplace.

Want to learn more about pipe markers and identification?

Brady Corporation can help advise you on implementing appropriate solutions to prevent slips, trips and falls within your facility. Contact Brady for more information.