Pipes that contain steam can be tricky to identify as there are two potential solutions:
- Green is used for cooling, boilers, drinking, and other forms of water being transported through a facility.
- Blue is needed for compressed air normally. However, compressed steam does also fall under this category.
Steam pipes pose a unique danger to employees in that they can be extremely hot. If a valve is opened by accident, if a pipe bursts, or there is a leak, the victim can suffer from a variety of hazardous conditions. Those include:
- Burns – Steam itself can cause burns quickly when skin comes in contact with it. There is also the possibility of the pipes and the surrounding area becoming hotter if a steam pipe bursts.
- Slips and falls – Leaks can make floors slippery and hazardous, which can lead to employees slipping and falling in the workplace.
- Property damage – Improper maintenance of steam pipes can lead to corrosion within the pipe as well as on the valve itself. Negligence such as this can lead to ruptured pipes which poses a risk to not only the property value surrounding the burst pipe, but also a serious health risk to employees within the vicinity.
Giving employees the ability to properly identify pipes that contain steam, or steam under pressure, will allow them to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Not only that, but visual communication strategies that put a high priority in proper pipe labeling will ensure the safety of workers as well as prevent accidents from ever happening in the first place, whether that be slips and falls or serious burns.
More information on pipe color codes can be found on ANSI’s website, do the facility a favor and label pipes with safety in mind. Employees will thank you for making their job safer.
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