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Electrical identification products

November 1, 2012

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How can I take the guesswork out of electrical identification products?

Responding is Rob Prosser, product manager, Brady Worldwide Inc., Milwaukee.

With so many challenges arising in the electrical industry, employers are looking for solutions to common issues. Perhaps your experienced workers are retiring and being replaced by younger, less-experienced individuals. Maybe you are in search of ways to comply with safety regulations. Or perhaps you are looking for a way to deal with the changing economy and, ultimately, streamline costs. Regardless of the challenge your workforce is facing, a niche group of solutions is available to help take the guesswork out of your electrical identification process.

By understanding how these four components can fit into your facility, you can improve the performance, efficiency, safety and compliance of your electrical identification process.

Arc flash

Within the electrical industry, arc flash incidents are a common occurrence, so one of your main priorities is to keep employees safe. It is essential to inform employees about electrical hazards to keep them out of harm’s way. The best way to prevent arc flash and other electrical hazards is to display visually instructive labels and signage that communicate hazards and warning messages.

Wire and cable identification

It is critical to be able to quickly identify the wires and cables at your location so essential information is available to employees at the point of need. By labeling and identifying wires and markers, you not only reduce confusion, you also reduce spending. Using durable, long-lasting label materials eliminates the need to repeat the labeling process. With such a variety of wires, labels, sleeves and tags available, you can create legible identification specific to your facility’s needs.

Printers

As discussed in the first two sections, visual labels and signage are the most essential products to improve the electrical safety within your facility. By investing in a portable or industrial printer, you have an instant (not to mention faster and more efficient) solution for printing labels, signage and other essential information that needs to be communicated to employees.

Lockout/tagout

As the most-cited violation for general industry, lockout/tagout is an area that needs to be addressed in your facility. Without a solid lockout program, your employees face a number of risks – and so does your wallet.Implementing a solid lockout program goes beyond purchasing devices to include creating visual lockout procedure documents to ensure each step is carefully (and visually) understood. Due to the frequency of violations, it is extremely beneficial to take advantage of third-party services that can help train current and new employees, create your visual, and ensure your program is implemented in a way that promotes optimum safety.

Creating a facility with visually instructive labels, signage and procedures not only will improve safety, it also will help reduce confusion among newer employees, decrease your costs due to the long-lasting and durability of the materials, and dramatically improve OSHA compliance. Most important, you will have identified solutions to streamline and safeguard your electrical identification process.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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