Workplaces need many types of labels, and in many cases—especially at large facilities—it’s often easier and more cost-effective to print them yourself. When you purchase an industrial label printer, you can use pre-made templates or create your own designs to suit the labeling needs of your business.
Some workplace labels are required and others just help the facility function better. You can make the following types of labels with a label printer of your own.
When you have hazards in your workplace, you need to mark them. Hazards come in all shapes and sizes. Your facility might have slipping hazards, dangerous machines, vehicle traffic or toxic chemicals. You should label these hazards with the appropriate signal words, pictograms and colors. For example, the label to the right uses the word “caution” and an image of a hand to show that a surface is hot and should not be touched.
Signal words include “caution,” “warning” and “danger,” and indicate the level of hazard present. Caution is the lowest level of alert, while danger is the highest and is used for hazards that will cause death or serious injury if not avoided. Each level of alert has a corresponding color—yellow, orange or red—so the warning is easily recognizable.
These safety labels can easily be made in your workplace using the appropriate label supply.
Hazard labels are a critical tool for keeping employees safe at work, but labels can also serve more basic instructional purposes. Informational labels, which sometimes have the signal word “notice,” can tell employees to do simple things like remember to wash their hands, take out the trash and put recyclables in the correct container. These labels aren’t complex, but they can make your facility operate more efficiently. When labels provide answers to simple questions or reminders about simple tasks, people won’t need to ask questions and they won’t forget things as frequently.
Employers will soon need to comply with updated chemical labeling requirements that will use the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) standards. These labels help employees understand the dangers associated with a chemical, its handling guidelines and first aid information.
These new labels must include GHS pictograms that indicate the types of hazard a chemical presents. It must also use the appropriate format. See the example label above for ammonia.
GHS labels convey important information to your employees, but you’ll still need labels that comply with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 704 standard to provide information about chemicals to emergency responders.
The fire diamond, which you’ve likely seen before, uses colors and numbers to indicate a chemical’s properties. The blue diamond refers to impacts on health, red indicates flammability, yellow is for instability and white is for special hazards. Numbers range from 0-4, with 4 representing the greatest level of danger.
You can print these labels yourself using label supply like that pictured above.
Pipe Marking Labels
Pipe marking is a must if you have pipes in your facility and it’s especially important if those pipes contain any hazardous substances. You’ll want your employees, visitors and emergency responders to be able to quickly determine what’s in a pipe without needing to ask a lot of questions. Stopping to search out information about pipe contents can slow down maintenance and emergency procedures.
Pipe labels should comply with the ANSI/ASME 13.1 standard, which is the industry consensus standard for pipe marking. The standard explains what size and color labels you should use, as well as the size of text and permissible abbreviations of words. For example, for the hot water pipe above, a green and white color scheme indicates the pipe contains water. Directional arrows show which way the water flows. With a label like this one, no one will have to wonder what the pipe contains.
Check out this free guide for more detailed information about label formatting. If you have a lot of pipes to label, printing labels yourself can help facilitate a smooth pipe-marking project.
First Aid Labels
Accidents can happen quickly in the workplace, so employees need to know where equipment is located with first aid symbols and labels. They should receive training about this equipment, but labels can also help direct people to eyewash stations, showers and first aid kits in emergencies.
Emergency eyewash stations, for example, use a green and white color scheme and they should be placed near the station itself. They can also be placed along the route to the equipment to point people in the right direction.
Fire Safety Labels
Similar to first aid labels, fire safety labels should be placed near fire-fighting equipment and directing people to the equipment. Fire safety labels usually use red and white, as these colors are widely recognized as serving this purpose.
Finally, an industrial label printer will allow you to create your own way-finding signage. These labels can make pedestrian routes clear, mark exits and point people toward the break room or restroom. When routes are clearly marked, people will be less likely to get lost or need to ask unnecessary questions. In an emergency, these signs can also help people find their way to an exit quickly.
Having a printer to make these workplace labels yourself will give you the flexibility to replace and change labels whenever the facility undergoes renovations or reorganizing.
Make Labels the Easy Way
Workplace labels are a key tool for creating a visual workplace that is easy for people to understand and navigate. The types of labels you will need depends in part on the needs of your facility, so having the ability to create your own labels on demand will save you time and hassle.
For more ways to use your industrial label printer, take a look at the infographic below.