The electrical panels are used to direct electricity across different equipment within a facility. More than 1,500 electrical workplace injuries are reported in the US in a year. The best way to prevent these injuries is to implement a proactive safety management program. The program includes three major topics. They are design considerations, regulatory standards and labelling processes. Here, the labelling processes are discussed. The electrical panel labels are the most important information tools to notify employees, visitors and contractors.
What is it?
There are two major types. They are safety labels and identification labels. The safety labels are used to warn about potential hazards. They hold symbols, safety messages and warnings. Usually, bright colours are used in these labels. They are yellow, red and orange. On the other hand, the identification labels are used to clarify connections. They are attached to electrical distribution network. Such network consists of inverters, feeders, breaker panels, transfer switches and other equipment. Each of these equipment requires panel labels. It should hold the label to read work related information, safety information, power ratings and name of the component.
Why is it essential to label electrical panels?
The labelling of electric panels is influenced by industrial regulations and local laws in the US. The laws and regulations are governed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They make it mandatory to label the electrical panels. They often conduct inspections. Violators face serious consequences of fine and imprisonment. Therefore, it is essential to label the electrical panels.
What are the legal and regulatory requirements of labels for electrical panels?
The text of the sign should be easily read. The sign should hold information that are understood easily. The text should not make negative suggestions. The signal words should be readable from a distance of 1.52 metres. The label should carry the name of the manufacturer, current, voltage, wattage, safety signs, accident prevention tags and safety symbols.
The symbol indicating a hazard should have an equilateral triangle. An exclamation mark should be placed inside the triangle. The symbol should be used only as hazard alerts and not as safety instruction signs.
The labelling of the electrical panel has special colour requirements. They are as follows:
- DANGER should be written in white colour on a red background.
- WARNING should be written in black colour on an orange background.
- CAUTION should be written in black colour on a yellow background.
- NOTICE should be written in white colour on a blue background. Also, the letters should be italicized.
- SAFETY should be written in white colour on a green background.
The messaging panels used should either have black writings on a white background or white writings on a black background. The panel shall have a combination of lower- and upper-case letters. The upper-case lettering is used for short messages.
How to choose the right labels?
Decide on selecting a metal or plastic label. Both vinyl and polyester labels are good choices while selecting a plastic label. They have good durability and better readability. Go for metal labels for panels that require robust durability. Metal photo sensitive anodized aluminium is the best material for a metal label. They have longer life as compared to plastic labels. Also, consider the thickness, size and type of adhesive while selecting the label.
Tips to install the label
Before installing the label, verify the identity of the equipment. Put the labels where they are viewed easily. Be cautious on the interference from other operational equipment. Review after installation. Consider the hardware layout, environment of the panel, and regulations before installing the label. Proper planning is highly essential.