Why is pipe labeling important?

Marking or labeling the pipes in a facility is a very important, but sometimes overlooked, effort. There are many reasons why a company should ensure their pipes are properly marked throughout their facility, and the markings kept in good readable condition. The following are some of the many reasons why pipe labeling is important.

OSHA Labeling Requirements

One of the biggest reasons that companies normally make such an effort to keep up with their pipe labeling efforts is because they can get fined or even shut down if they don’t. OSHA includes pipe labeling under their ‘General Duty Clause,’ which covers a variety of different subjects intended to provide a safe work environment to employees.

When looking at OSHA’s regulations, you will see that rather than come up with their own, they have opted to follow the ANSI/ASME systems. This is because it is a proven system that companies around the world have already been following. Violations of the different regulations can result in citations from OSHA, which can be quite costly or even lead to work stoppages if not addressed.

Benefits to Emergency Responders

If there is a disaster of any sort in your facility, the pipe labeling will be invaluable to the emergency responders. For example, if there was a fire and the first responders wanted to access water from one area of the facility, the labels on the pipes could quickly let them know which ones are water, and which ones are other chemicals (which could be very dangerous).

Safety Improvements for Employees

Employees will benefit from the markings in much the same way that emergency responders do. Having pipes labeled will help ensure nobody makes the mistake of opening a steam pipe when they were looking for potable water. Even more common, the pipe labels will ensure maintenance crews who need to cut through a pipe know what they are cutting into, and can take the proper precautions. It is often difficult to trace out pipes over the distance of a facility, and one mistake could be a disaster.

Significant Benefits for Minimal Investment

Another reason pipe labels are an important option for facilities is because they can provide such significant benefits with very little investment. A company can either order pre-printed labels, or buy an affordable industrial label printer, and label all their piping for very little money. This small investment will reduce the wasted time needed to trace out pipes for work, and increase the safety throughout the facility.


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