Can I create custom pipe labels and still be compliant?

If you are looking to label the pipes in your facility, you will want to make sure you are compliant with the ANSI/ASME standards that are in place. While these standards aren’t strictly required by OSHA in the traditional sense, they are what is widely recognized as best practices. In addition, OSHA does indirectly require pipe markings as part of a general safety guideline. Also, many people expect OSHA will make this a formal requirement in the future.

When planning out your pipe marking strategy, you want to make sure you are meeting all the requirements today, but also that the markings include the information you want. This is why many facilities use custom pipe markings.

Choosing Custom Information

In order to be compliant with the ANSI/ASME standards there are some pieces of information that need to be included on the pipe labels. For example, the name of the solution running through the pipe should always be there. For most pipe markings, however, there will also be room for you to include custom information. This could be emergency response information, details specific to your facility, or other items.

Another common customization for pipe markings is the colors used on the labels. Most color and text combinations are set by ANSI standards, but they have also reserved four color options to be user-defined. Purple labels with white text, black labels with white text, white labels with black text, and gray labels with black text are all able to be used as custom user defined options. Any other color combination that is not set by ANSI can also be used as user-defined, but it is possible that ANSI will update their standards to use those colors in the future, so it is not recommended.

Printing Custom Pipe Labels

If you’re going to be using custom labels for your pipe markings, it is best to create them on site. This can be done by installing an industrial label printer. These printers can create the exact size labels that are needed, and include the information that you choose. The printer can use the proper colors to meet the ANSI/ASME requirements for both background and the text.

Custom pipe labels can be printed on the type of label stock that you choose. This is important for ensuring the labels will properly stick to the pipes and remain in place for years to come. Most vinyl print stock will provide an easy to read label that will work on almost all types of pipes.

 

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Additional Resources

Pipe Marking Guide
 
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