Safety labeling is an important component to creating and maintaining a safe work environment, especially for employees who work with electricity or machinery. HellermannTyton safety labels for electrical equipment and facilities management help employers promote safety, minimize risks and reduce liability.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Code (NEC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) all have specific instructions, standards and/or codes on how to label electrical and mechanical equipment to minimize worker injury and loss of life.
The costs of workplace injuries are massive, adding up to over $1 billion a week for U.S. employers.
HellermannTyton offers a complete system solution for the proper safety labeling of electrical equipment and facilities management. From easy-to-use TagPrint® Pro 3.0 label design software and industrial-grade thermal transfer printers to a wide selection of partially pre-printed and blank warning and safety labels, we offer a complete solution to safety labeling in the equipment and electrical environments.
Equipment labeling can be overwhelming, with so many components to consider. In addition to a comprehensive product offering, HellermannTyton is leading the way in labeling to meet standards and codes. Our essential Electrical Control Panel and Facility Labeling Posters offer easy-to-read, visual guidance on labeling – a must for any manufacturing or automation environment!
The Importance of Proper Safety Labeling
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there were over 2.8 million workplace injury cases1 reported in the private sector around the nation in 2012, and nearly 4,400 fatal workplace injuries.2
Injury and loss of life on the job can also be examined from the financial impacts on a company. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates the direct costs of workplace injuries and illness to US employers at over $ 1 billion each week.3 The total cost of injuries go far beyond compensation and care for the injury itself.
Costs of Worker Compensation Claims
With nearly 3 million worker’s comp claims each year, the costs really add up for companies dealing with claims. To get a true accounting of the total cost involved, one must consider both the direct and indirect costs.4
- Worker’s compensation payments and case management
- Medical expenses
- Legal fees
- Training replacement employees
- Regulatory investigations and fines
- Implementation of corrective measures
- Repairs to damaged equipment and property
- Lower productivity due to decreased employee morale and higher absenteeism
- Negative PR that can affect community and customer relations
Why is proper labeling difficult?
The complexity of code compliance is made more difficult when you consider all of the various sources of information that define proper and code compliant labeling. In addition to the new National Electrical Code (NEC 2014), one must also consider OSHA, ANSI and NFPA and UL labeling requirements and specifications. Even the experts, who design, build, install and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment, can still miss important code mandated labeling requirements that provide critical information and traceability from beginning to end.
What items require safety labeling?
Electrical infrastructure, which can start at the main service entrance and end at a control panel or a piece of industrial automation machinery, must also be managed all along the path. These can include:
- Motor control centers (MCCs)
- Breaker panels
- Transfer switches
- Industrial Automation Equipment
- Industrial Control Panels
Managing that infrastructure means providing proper labeling as to where a circuit originates and where it is going, doing proper calculations (when applicable) for Arc-Flash and maximum fault current, and supporting those calculations with properly identified and rated over-current devices, high leg and phase identification , as well as properly identifying your disconnection means. In addition, existing labeling must be updated, maintained and be relevant to current installed systems.
1 Workplace Injury and Illness Summary, 2012, 11/7/2013, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/news
2 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2012, 8/22/13, Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/news
3 Safety and Health Topics: Costs, www.osha.gov/dcsp/products/topics/businesscase/costs
4 “What Does a Workplace Injury Cost?” Direct and Indirect Costs and Their Affect to the Bottom Line, 2011, www.fit2wrk.com
“Fatal occupational injuries involving contractors, 2011”, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), US Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov
White paper addressing the return on investment for safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) management programs, Business of Safety Committee, The American Society of Safety Engineers, June 8, 2002 http://www.safetybok.org/return_on_investment_roi_for_safety_health_and_environmental_she_management_programs/