The pipe marking standards from ANSI are the most widely followed in the world. The system they have developed is proven to help make it faster and easier for people to identify what a particular pipe is used for, which will improve workplace safety. Whether you are already following these standards, or you need to implement it in your facility, it is important to make sure you know the various requirements set up by ANSI. Fortunately, this is not a difficult set of standards to understand, and it is even easier to implement as long as you have access to good quality pipe labels.
What Do the ANSI Label Colors Mean?
When it comes to using the ANSI pipe marking standards, the most important thing to ensure you get right is the colors. The various colors established by these standards are what people will see when looking at the pipe, and what will most quickly let them know what is in the pipe itself. The following are the most common colors used and what they mean:
- Black Writing on Yellow Labels – This is to be used when the contents of a pipe are flammable or may become flammable when it comes out of the pipe.
- White Writing on Brown Labels – This is for fluids that are combustible but not flammable.
- Black Writing on Orange Labels – This is for toxic and/or corrosive solutions, or those that can produce toxic substances once it comes out of the pipe.
- White Writing on Red Labels – This is for fire quenching solutions including water that is designated for sprinkler systems.
- White Writing on Green Labels – This is for any other water except that which is to be used in a fire quenching system.
- White Writing on Blue Labels – This is for any vapor or gas under pressure, including compressed air.
These are the main types of labels covered by the ANSI standards. ANSI does allow other colors to be used. These are designated as user defined colors. A facility can use these options for specific solutions that they have in their pipe which don’t fit into one of the above-mentioned categories. Even if something does fit into one of the categories above, the user defined label colors can be used to provide further clarity. For example, if a facility uses a particular type of acid in one pipe, they can designate labels with white writing on purple labels to be used specifically for that acid. The important thing is that everyone knows what this custom label means, and it is used consistently throughout the company.
Placement of Pipe Markings
In addition to the color standards, it is also important to follow the placement standards for the ANSI pipe marking system. The placement of labels is important as it will help to ensure people can easily see the labels no matter where they happen to be. The specific standards will depend largely on what type of pipe system is in place. Some of the key places where pipes should be labeled include the following:
- Ends of Pipes – Both ends of a pipe should always be labeled so that people can see what the pipe contains while accessing it.
- Either Side of Barriers – If a pipe travels through a wall, it should be labeled on both sides of the barrier so that it is easily visible to people on both sides.
- Corners – When a pipe travels around a corner, it should be labeled so that people can see it on both sides of the corner.
- Covering Distance – For longer pipes, it is often necessary to place labels along the entire thing to ensure they are always visible. The distance between labels will depend on things like lighting, size of the pipes, and other factors. The key thing is to make sure the labels are always visible to anyone in the area.
ANSI Pipe Marking Standard Training
Following the ANSI pipe marking standards is very important for workplace safety. If you don’t provide training to everyone who could access or work on the pipes, however, these standards will not give any real benefit. Making sure those who use pipes know what the colors mean is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. This can be done through formal safety training classes. It is also a good idea to put up ANSI color standard posters in key areas so that employees are constantly reminded. Finally, keeping a color key and other information about the pipe safety system in a central office so it can be referenced will ensure everyone who needs it has access to this information.
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