Caution Signs, ANSI, OSHA

ANSI Standards on Your Pipes

When alerting workers to potential hazard, ANSI caution signs are used in conditions where there is a “moderate to minor injury” risk. ANSI states that the signs should have a yellow header with signal words and symbols written in black to further clarify the hazard.

ANSI also has standards relating to the pipes in your facility. In the ANSI / ASME A13.1 2007 standard, the color combination for industrial pipe markers on pipes that carry flammable fluids is also yellow and black. A safety yellow background with black legend alerts staff and maintenance workers of the potentially hazardous materials that flow in the pipes, which pose a “moderate to minor injury” risk.

Popular legends on yellow “caution” pipe makers are for fuel oil return and supply, natural gas (both general and PSI specific legends), and medical air supplies.

According to the ANSI / ASME A13.1 1996 color scheme, pipe markers with a yellow background and black legend marked pipes carrying materials that are “inherently hazardous.” These include flammable, explosive, chemically active, toxic, and radioactive materials. The newer 2007 standard further breaks these types of materials down into different classifications.

Caution sign size and text size is determined by the location of the sign and its relation to the hazard. Pipe markers can not change in size, as they must match the size of the pipe, so spacing of the pipe markers on the pipe becomes more important, along with the direction that the markers installed.

“Caution” pipe markers are installed close to valves, branches, and anywhere that the pipe changes direction. The pipe should be marked before and after wall, ceiling, and floor passes. For long, uninterrupted runs of pipe, pipe markers should be installed for best visibility, which is typically every 20 feet. The distance can be cut down if pipes run along other piping systems or if visibility is obstructed.

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