Your Guide to Safety Inspection Tags

Safety inspection tags are an important part of the health and safety practices at any industrial, construction or other site where potentially hazardous equipment and machinery is used. We’ve written this handy guide to using safety inspection tags and the different types that are available to help you create a safer working environment.

What are they?

Safety inspection tags are labels/signs that can be attached to a variety of different equipment (commonly ladders, scaffolding, electrical items etc.) that indicate whether they are cleared for safe use or not. They often include information like when the kit was last inspected, when the next inspection is due and who conducted the assessment last time.

Why use them?

Safety tags are a great, easy way of showing your employees that items are safe, and that they are in compliance with any legal regulations and best practice requirements. They also provide a way to be proactive when it comes to potential defects or issues – a standardised checklist of inspection needs for a ladder, for example, will highlight if/when a minor problem is becoming a real hazard.

What is available?

There is a huge range of safety tags available, for almost any conceivable requirement, from the standard/generic tag that simply states when (and by whom) the item was checked and cleared, through to the more intricate chemical safety inspection tags that include detailed information about the type of chemical, the possible effects of exposure, appropriate first aid measures and additional information for medical personnel.

You should always write on safety inspection tags using a permanent marker to ensure that the information is clear and can’t be smeared, changed or deleted. Many tag kits will be supplied with an appropriate pen, so check that your chosen kit includes a pen before you buy it.

What to look out for

You’ll need to get the appropriate type of tag for the location – you can use an exposed card if the equipment is installed in a dry, indoors area,  but for scaffolding or other equipment that is used outside or in damp conditions, you’ll need a tag that is sealed in a sturdy plastic envelope.

You should also  think about the integrity of the fastening point. Is your label likely to be pulled, yanked or get caught on things when you move it around (loading and unloading a ladder from a van, for example)? If so, you’ll need to get labels with reinforced holes to make sure that the risk of them tearing and dropping off is minimised.

Last, and linked to the other two considerations, is durability. Do you simply need a temporary tag that will be replaced every few weeks? Or do you want a more long-lasting record of multiple inspections, or a label that is to be used for a piece of equipment that has a long period between inspections? Make sure that the label you choose is appropriate for the amount of time it will be in place for – labels that degrade, become unclear or break off can be a danger, as it can then be a matter of guesswork to try and remember who inspected what, when.

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