When should I use a pipe tag?

Pipes contain and transport a wide range of different liquids and gasses throughout most workplaces. These could be relatively harmless things like water, or it could be deadly gas, acid, steam, or other dangerous solutions. To help improve the overall safety of the piping system, it is important to use pipe tags in all appropriate places. This will typically include all areas where valves are present, and other locations along the length of the pipes to ensure everyone is aware of what is contained within. The following are some situations where pipe tags are necessary.

  • Pipe Valves: All pipe valves should be tagged with important information. Whether the valve opens directly to the air, or opens into another section of pipe, the tag will help to improve safety. In general, pipe valve tags will identify which valve it is (in relation to the entire piping system), what it leads to, and other critical safety information.
  • Faucets: Anytime a pipe opens with a faucet it is important to have it tagged. The potential exception to this would be normal kitchen, bathroom, or other sinks that are clearly used for water. Anything else, however, should have a tag that identifies what will come out of the faucet if opened, and what hazards there may be.
  • Lock Out/Tag Out: When performing maintenance on a machine that uses piping, it is often a good idea to follow the lock out tag out (LOTO) strategies for safety. While LOTO is typically associated with electrical safety, it can also be used for securing valves on pipes. Locking and tagging a valve that contains hazardous chemicals while someone is working in a potentially dangerous area will help to keep them safer.

These are just some of the most significant places where a pipe tag may be necessary. Each facility is going to have its own set of requirements. The most important thing is to ensure everyone is aware of the pipe marking standards that are used, and follows them. Having a good pipe marking guide as part of your overall procedures will help to improve the safety of everyone in the facility.


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