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An often overlooked aspect of electrical safety training is labeling. OSHA and NFPA 70E require electrical panels, equipment, and conductors all be clearly labeled. Yet this crucial aspect of workplace safety is easily overlooked. T/C Risk Management will cover correct labeling practices in our electrical safety classes.
Electrical labels have two purposes: to serve as warnings and to organize electrical components.
A clear warning label will keep workers safely away from electrical risks. This includes the use of signs, symbols, and accident prevention tags. Warning labels need to be legible and usually incorporate bright colors for extra visibility. Handwritten signs are not acceptable. Older labels which have faded or become stained will need to be replaced.
In-depth training from T/C Risk Management will show employees what the various warnings mean. Qualified electrical workers will need to know the difference between each label so they can work with greater safety. The information on the warning label will make it clear what sort of personal protective equipment (PPE) and lockout/tagout procedures will be needed.
There are various codes to follow depending on the voltage and equipment. NFPA 70E mandate 110.16 has specific regulations for arc flash warning labels. In some situations, additional warnings are required. A room full of electrical equipment may warrant a sign on the door. Let T/C Risk Management figure out where warnings are needed.
Control panel boards and switchboards in particular need to be labeled. It should be clear even to unqualified workers which switches control what. Wires should be color coded where possible.
Electrical equipment and circuit breakers should include labels indicating when maintenance work was last performed or is due. Qualified employees need to be trained in how to keep these labels up-to-date. An accurate label can protect workers from liability if something happens to the equipment.