What You Should Know About Pipe Markers

Do you know why it’s important to have the correct pipe markings in your facility? It helps your employees and independent contractors identify the contents of various pipes in your facility during maintenance. Pipe markers aid in locating specific pipes for repairs or upgrade, and at the same time minimizes the risk of accidents and injuries. But did you also know that it’s not enough to have pipe markers installed in your facility? You should follow strict regulations when using pipe identification tools and valve tags.

The most commonly followed pipe marking standard is ANSI/ASME A13.1-2007. This standard talks about two ways of identifying the different contents, colours, sizes and placement of specific pipe markers.

  •  Primary Identification – This sort of pipe identification uses legends and directional flow arrows for identifying the contents of pipes. For more information on size and placement of arrow markers check the chart below.
  • Secondary Identification – This method uses a specific colour code to help identify specific substances, for example: Yellow/Black is used for flammable fluids and Green/White is used for various water types including potable, boiler feed and cooling water.

This colour-coding method has seen significant changes over the years with the addition of the Brown/White colour code to identify combustible fluids and the Orange/Black code for corrosive or toxic fluids. It is recommended that you consult the Material Safety Data Sheets to help you determine the risk factor of each substance which in turn will help you mark each pipe accordingly. For a more detailed description about pipe marker regulations, please refer to the chart below.

ANSI Pipe Marker Regulations - Inforgraphic

 

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Protecting Company Assets with Seals

Security Seals

Keep sensitive and important items safe from theft and tampering with tamper evident adhesive seals. Security seals are an economical solution to keep your shipping containers safe. These seals are designed to show evidence of accidental or deliberate theft, tampering, and contamination. They are broken down into certain categories depending on the type of seals, level of protection, and items that needs to be secured. The most commonly used security tools for protecting your goods are tamper evident adhesive seals and security seals. Each has been designed with a specific function, but both are able to provide some level of security against unwanted elements.

Here are the most common uses for adhesive and security seals:

  • Company assets
  • Electronic goods
  • Shipping containers
  • Boxes and packages
  • Bottles and food items

Tamper evident self-adhesive seals may not stop tampering all together, but they are made to show evidence of tampering. Here’s an example:

One employer was surprised to discover that he was losing important company assets such as computers, tools, and equipment on a regular basis. Since none of them had any adhesive seals to identify them, they were never found and the culprits were never caught. Now imagine the same scenario, but this time the employer was wise enough to use tamper evident label seals on all of his equipment. These seals were designed to break into small pieces when someone tries to remove them to clearly indicate signs of tampering while others come with barcodes and serial number which makes them easy to trace. This significantly reduces the incident of lost or stolen items and even provides evidence against the thieves. By using tamper evident seals, the employer has taken a significant step to ensure the safety and security of his assets from both internal and external threats.

The concept behind tamper evident label seals is fairly simple. Most of these seals are destructible which means that when someone tries to remove them, they break up and leave small pieces behind. Another popular type of seal reveals the word “VOID” when the seal is removed from the item. Most companies customize their own self-adhesive seals by adding their logo to properly mark and track their assets.

Although they can’t fully keep thieves out, tamper evident seals:

  • Discourage tampering and theft.
  • Provide a way to track items for inventory and record keeping.
  • Preserve the integrity of items especially during shipping.

Remember that in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Lost property can cost you and your company millions and the best way to protect your assets are with tamper evident adhesive seals.

 

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Don’t Get Caught In A Tight Situation

Caution - Watch Your Hands and Fingers
According to a recent survey about construction safety, caught in/between hazards account for 5% of all occupational deaths and a shocking 16% for fatalities in construction areas. CFCSA (Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations) defines caught-in or between injuries as a result of people getting caught, compressed, pinched or crushed between two heavy machines or equipment. Collapsing materials and cave-ins are also included in this type of work hazard. Most of the time, cuts, bruises, mangled body parts, dismemberment and even death are the results of such accidents. Here’s an example:

A maintenance personnel was doing some routine checkups on a water truck. He was crawling under the truck while it was still operating. A screw that was projecting from the rotating pump shaft caught his uniform. The worker was pulled into the pump shaft and eventually died on the way to the hospital. This tragedy could have been avoided if the proper safety signs were posted to warn him about the hazards he was about to face. Here are some handy construction safety tips to keep your workers safe from caught in/between hazards in your facility.

  • Identify areas where caught-in hazards are present, such as heavy machines and equipment.
  • Remind your employees to maintain a safe distance from rotating equipment.
  • Don’t let your workers stay between heavy machinery and an immovable object.
  • Always make sure that company equipment comes with guards for the workers’ protection.
  • When handling machines with moving parts, always make sure that it is first turned off.
  • Don’t let your employees work in an excavation with accumulating water.

Most of these types of injuries happen when a piece of a worker’s clothing, even hair and jewelry gets caught in moving machines. Employers should strongly enforce the use of safe and appropriate clothing as part of their construction safety program.

  • Workers should avoid wearing loose clothes and wear close-fitting ones instead.
  • Shirts should be neatly tucked into the pants.
  • Short sleeved shirts are preferred. (If your workers are wearing long sleeved shirt make sure you remind them to button their sleeves at the cuff.)
  • Never wear any form of jewelry at work.
  • Long hair should always be worn in a bun or covered with a hairnet.
  • Facial hair should be kept relative short.

Along with these construction safety tips, the best way to prevent work-related injuries is by properly training your employees on how to handle company equipment along with your facility’s safety regulations. Have your site audited to see if you comply with state and federal safety standards. A site audit is also a good way of spotting potential caught-in/between hazards in your site. Keeping your employees informed and aware about the hazards present is the best way to keep them safe from accidents and injuries.

 

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Difference Between Sealants and Tapes

Sealants and Tapes

Maintenance work is an integral part of production. Keeping your facility’s equipment, tools and machines in tip-top condition is the key to a productive workplace. To keep your equipment in perfect working condition, you need to have the finest maintenance tools to help you. The two most commonly used tools for warehouse maintenance work are sealants and tapes; however, some people often have the misconception that the two are one and the same. The truth is sealants and tapes were developed for totally different applications.

Even though these warehouse supplies have adhesive properties, the manner on how they should be used greatly varies. First thing you need to know is – what are the main differences between the two and how are they applied during warehouse maintenance work.

  • Tapes uniformly holds two surfaces together, such as broken pieces of furniture, while sealants fill in gaps or seals cracks or leaks present in pipes and other office equipment.
  • In terms of tensile strength, tapes are considerably stronger than sealants, but the latter has greater flexibility.
  • Tapes provide greater structural stability.
  • Sealants are designed to cut off any incoming or outgoing substrate.
  • Tapes are designed for general purpose maintenance and repair work whereas sealants are limited to specific applications.

Here’s an easier way of looking at it. Imagine a leak on your roof, now which warehouse supply do you think is best suited for the job? The ideal choice of course is the sealant because they are formulated to fill gaps and make most surfaces waterproof. Just think of what would happen if you used adhesive tape to seal that leak, chances are that leak is still going to be there. However, that’s where you’re going to see the limitations of sealants. They’re only used for waterproofing and sealing applications.

Tapes on the other hand have a broader spectrum of applications. In fact, tapes are so versatile that they can be used for more than just warehouse maintenance. Adhesive tapes can also be used:

  • As a mounting agent for signs and nameplates.
  • To colour code different areas in your facility.
  • For packing applications.

There are several types of sealants and tapes available for various maintenance applications, they include:

  • Liquid sealants – ideal for waterproofing roofs, floors and walls.
  • Cartridge sealants – used for filling in gaps found on walls, ceilings, skirting boards, kitchen worktops, baths, shower trays and more.
  • Masking tapes – used primarily in painting applications to cover or “mask” certain areas that do not need painting.
  • Packaging tapes – used for sealing boxes.
  • Duct tape – perfect for various construction and repair work because of its strong, flexible and highly sticky properties.

So before you start any maintenance work in your facility, you should determine the type of work that needs to be done and remember the differences between sealants and tapes. This will help you decide what materials you will need for the task at hand.

 

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Workplace Head Injuries: A Big Headache

head-injury-prevention-cen

Workplace head injuries can traumatize the brain and put someone in a hospital for days, or in some cases may even lead to death. To prevent this type of damage from occurring, your facility should maintain a proper workplace injury prevention system. Believe it or not, workplace head injuries are fairly common and are usually the result of the poor execution of your facility’s safety guidelines. The good news is you can take matters into your own hands and develop an accident prevention program that’s going to guarantee the safety of you and your employees.

Now let’s take a look at the different severity of head injuries your workers can suffer while performing their duties.

  • MILD – These types of head wounds show minimal damages inside and outside of the head. The person does not suffer from loss of consciousness but can experience headaches and vomiting.
  • MODERATE – Workplace head injuries of this sort may be characterized by a noticeable trauma to the outside of the head. The person involved can momentarily lose consciousness and can also suffer from, memory loss, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, vomiting, and confusion. There are some cases where cerebrospinal fluid leaks out from the nose.
  • SEVERE – This type of head trauma show significant damage on outside of the head which in some cases can also affect the neck, arms and legs.  The person is unconscious and unresponsive, and may at times suffer from seizures.

So what are the best ways to prevent workplace head injuries from occurring?  As an employer you need to inform your employees about the latest safety policies in your facility and provide them with the tools and equipment they need to protect themselves.

  •  Your facility should display proper warning and safety signs in areas where head injuries are likely to Hard Hat Area Signhappen. These signs should clearly indicate the possibility of head injuries and that the appropriate safety gear is needed before entering.
  • Hard hats are the best equipment you can give to your workers. They are the primary source of protection your workers have against traumatic head injuries. You have to make sure that your employees enter work areas with the proper safety gear on.
  • Keep your facility’s workplace injury prevention policies up to date, and make sure that your employees are properly trained and informed.

The biggest mistake that some companies commit is neglecting the need for employees to wear appropriate safety equipment and maintaining a good safety management program. When it comes to head injury prevention, nothing can protect your employees more than a hard hat. A good quality hard hat can make a big difference, and should be a mandatory item in high risk working environments such as construction sites, mining operations, maintenance and repair and other applications where the risks for head injuries are high.

Using hard hats is one of the best ways to prevent or minimize any sort of damage to the head. Hard hats come in different types depending on the type of work that needs to be done, and they are:

  • Class A – These are the most commonly used hard hats. They offer outstanding protection from most blunt forces to the head but offers little protection against electricity
  • Class B – Designed to protect the wearer from falling objects and high-voltage electrical shocks. These hard hats are used primarily for electrical applications.
  • Class C – Light-weight and comfortable hard hats designed to protect the wearer when bumping fixed objects. Offers little protection from falling objects and electrical shocks.

Remember, discipline plays a big part in preventing workplace head injuries. You have to make sure your workers are always following the latest safety guidelines and are provided with the right head protection. Safety signs should always be posted in areas where accidents are likely to occur, and at eye level where everyone can clearly read them. Taking these measures is a sure fire way of preventing head injuries in the workplace.

 

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Keep Everyone Safe with Bilingual Signs

Bilingual Signs

Across Canada, the use of bilingual signs in the workplace is necessary to communicate important safety and company policies that everyone will understand. According to Canada’s constitution, English and French are recognized to be the state’s official languages. Implementing universal signs that cater to a multicultural workforce can improve productivity by reducing the occurrences of work-related injuries and accidents.

It’s a fact that you will encounter hazards in the workplace. Your responsibility as an employer is to make sure your workforce, especially if it is multicultural, is aware of immediate dangers and the precautions they need to take to avoid any accidents.

Imagine this, a French speaking factory worker comes to work in your facility and experiences an accident during the course of the day because most of the safety signs were in English or another language that he doesn’t normally speak. Your company can be held liable for the incident because you didn’t have safety signs that the French speaking employee could understand.

Now if you were using bilingual signs to communicate the different hazards present in the facility, the possibility of that worker having an accident will be greatly reduced. Bilingual safety signs also help companies in bilingual regions stay in compliance with state and federal safety regulations. The presence of universal signs in key areas of your facility can help reduce confusion among employees and the risk of serious and life threatening accidents.

Universal signs were developed to help promote safety practices regardless of the language, and it’s not only in the workplace where bilingual signs are used. In Canada, there are a number of places where you can see safety signs in two languages:

  •  Universal safety signs are used in Ontario’s provincial highways, as well as in the Greater Toronto area to promote safety on the road by providing important traffic safety information to both English and French speaking motorists.
  • The Canadian constitution requires that all federal and government buildings in Canada should use signs with both the English and French languages.

However, other areas like Alberta follow certain guidelines when it comes to using bilingual signs. According to The Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation or AIT, traffic signs:

  • Will use English as the main language.
  • Can be bilingual as long as it is approved by the AIT.
  • Can display bilingual messages if they are serving historical sites and national parks.

In times where companies and cities are no longer confined to one culture and language, the presence of bilingual signs becomes more important. They deliver their safety and warning messages to a greater audience to ensure everyone’s safety and well being.

 

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