Avoiding Accidents at the Workplace with Safety Tags

Dr. Purushothaman
December 6, 2013

Some alarming workplace facts

Did you know that everyday more than 12 U.S. workers on an average lose their lives through workplace accidents? Yet another 10,000 are hurt so badly, they end up losing sizeable work time or are placed on restricted duty? Startling? These are the facts as reported by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Typical accidents encountered at workplaces

People have fallen from elevations, got caught in explosions, body parts have been crushed in machinery, men have been electrocuted by defective electrical equipment, and trenches and walls have caved in on workmen...this list is by no means complete and only illustrative of the hazards many workers are exposed to.

What can be done to reduce the accident rate?

Reducing workplace related accidents is a fight that needs to be fought on many levels, a few measures that should be taken are:

Imparting safety information and training

Basic safety training is inadequate or non-existent in many workplaces. Safety gear is not worn and safety procedures are not followed. Simple safety training courses could take care of this shortcoming.

Not ignoring inspection routines

Before an employee uses a potentially risky piece of equipment or machinery, it must be inspected rigorously and regularly. If defective, a safety tag should be put up as a warning flag and employees should be informed. Training in inspection procedures must also be imparted.

For long drawn processes, a written safety manual or guide must be in place

Safety procedures if put down in writing serve as ready reference to employees and also help train them to watch out for accident triggers and take care of them right away.

An easy way to minimize accidents

Safety training and inspection routines, though imperative, take time to implement. One of the simple ways to start minimizing accidents is to use safety and caution tags in the workplace. These are also convenient to use since they are commonly available and simple to attach.

Types of Safety Tags

Safety Tags are the hallmark of a safe, working environment
Safety and caution tags can make a huge difference in safety levels at any workplace. Safety tags come in many forms - fire extinguisher safety tags, gas cylinder safety tags, OK to Use safety tags, Defective Do Not Use safety tags, Inspection tags and Repair Tags etc. Safety tags serve as warning and information devices especially in potentially hazardous situations. For example, imagine the plight of a worker getting his arm caught in machinery just because the machinery was defective and there was no safety tag to notify the hapless user.

Other situations may not be quite so serious but could prove serious time wasters, like people getting stuck in improperly functioning elevators, loss of data through malfunctioning computers etc. where just a simple safety tag could have apprised users of the situation.

Fire Extinguisher Tags and Gas Cylinder safety tags

Some tags serve as records or status notifications. For example, Fire extinguisher tags show you an inspection record of when the equipment was checked - this could be a monthly record, annual record, or yearly record. Gas cylinder safety tags tell you the status of the gas cylinder whether full or empty. Commonly available gas cylinder tags are Full Cylinder tags, Empty Cylinder tags, DOT warning labels, Danger signs and labels, Hot Work permit tags and more. Such tags go a long way in upholding safety norms in a workplace.

Lockout Tags

Some widely used safety tags are the lockout tags. These are high quality safety tags that can be used over long periods. Lockout Tags are used to indicate equipment or machinery that is not operating at safe or desired levels. Various lock out safety tags include Do Not Operate Tags, Defective Material Tags, and Custom Lockout Tags etc.

Repair Tags

There is a class of tags that also serves as customer tickets when an item is given for repairing. A retailer can simply hand over the stub to the customer as receipt after accepting the equipment to be repaired. Repair tags for maintenance of heavy machinery serve the same purpose but are generally tougher and are also available in fluorescent colors.

Handling of Safety Tags
Some rules must be observed while using safety tags to make their use more effective:

Only an authorized person must add or remove tags from equipment

Safety tags must be safe to handle, with rounded corners and no sharp edges or projections.

They must have the main signal word like 'Caution', 'Danger' etc visible even at 5 feet of distance.

Safety tags should be replaced once they start to fade or people will not be able to read them.

The safety tags must be fixed as close to the equipment as possible and where they are clearly visible.

Organizations must make sure employees know about these tags and understand their purpose.

Need high quality safety tags for your organization?

xpresstags.com is where you can go online for all your safety tag needs. The company is a leader in the manufacture of all kinds of safety, asset and property identification tags. The materials used are high quality and extremely durable. Designs can be easily personalized to suit your purpose and rates are very competitive.

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