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Air ducts and vents are one of those things in life that people take for granted. The population at large broadly has an idea of how they work, but they don’t exactly appreciate the importance they have in keeping homes and buildings temperate and ventilated.

There are two types of duct: supply vents and return vents. These are the foundation of an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Conditioning) system, for heating, cooling, ventilation, air conditioning or humidity control.

So, what do air ducts do? Supply vents bring things in, and return vents take things out. This can be anything from fresh air to heat, so it’s essential vents are labelled properly to not only keep airflow regulation intact, or gas flow in industrial applications, but also to ensure maintenance workers stay safe.

Find out how to check air ducts and how duct identification labels can help below.

How to Check Air Ducts

Air ducts are important, but they’re not averse to breaking down, forming leaks and requiring repairs.

On average, air ducts should be tested and checked once a year. Ordinarily, a building or home will notice issues with an air duct system due to higher utility bills, more dust and uneven heating or cooling in the property.

During maintenance, a worker will look for tears, maintain duct joints and replace duct tape. However, without knowing which are the supply vents and return vents, it is difficult for maintenance to happen efficiently.

How Duct Identification Labels Can Help

Duct identification labels can help significantly. If ducts aren’t labelled, then it’s going to be nigh-on impossibly to figure out which duct does what.

Is air quality a problem in the building? Then you’re going to have to deal with that duct, not the one dealing with temperature or humidity.

Labels can also assist in locating the position of essential system filters, condensers and other parts of equipment which are important in maintenance and replacement.

It is also dangerous to approach the wrong duct by accident. Approaching a heated air duct without turning it off beforehand, for example, can lead to burns and other injuries.

Buy Duct Identification Labels Today

To keep your air duct system organised and safe, check out our full range of duct identification labels today.

Hand-arm vibration (HAV) refers to the vibration caused by handheld equipment. This can be tools like power drills and equipment that needs to be hand guided.

While these vibrations can seem small, over time, they can cause significant damage to an employee’s muscles and nerves.

This damage can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), which is a blanket term for conditions caused by persistent vibrations. Conditions ranging from minor carpal tunnel to the more severe Raynaud's disease, sometimes referred to as VWF (Vibration White Finger), can occur.

Hand-arm vibration labels are central to HAVS prevention. Discover how these labels work, what the hand-arm vibration regulations are and how to protect your employees below.

What Do the Hand-Arm Vibration Regulations Say?

The UK guidelines are set under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (2005). These regulations introduced action and limit values for hand-arm vibration.

The legislation dictates that businesses must use a Hand-Arm Vibration Exposure Calculator to check how much HAV exposure their employees experience. In the regulations, the action value of vibration is set to 2.5 m/s² and the limit value is 5 m/s².

Values are then translated to Total Exposure Points over an 8-hour day. These are effectively hand-arm vibration time limits. If the action value exceeds 100 points and/or the limit value exceeds 400 points for a working day, then controls must be introduced to decrease HAVS risk to employees.

As part of these controls, hand-arm vibration labels are used to remind employees of the risks, to don suitable equipment and ensure that nobody is exposed to unneeded vibration.

How to Use Hand-Arm Vibration Labels

Before using hand-arm vibration labels, an employer must understand what equipment can cause HAVS. Some common examples are:

  • Chainsaws
  • Impact wrenches
  • Polishers
  • Sanders
  • Weed cutters

All machinery that has the potential to cause HAVS must be assessed then labelled to reduce risk. The label must be placed directly onto the machine or equipment so it can be seen clearly.

These labels are split into three colour-coded categories:

  • Green – Low risk
  • Amber – Medium risk
  • Red – High risk

This level of risk is dependent on the value results from the Hand-Arm Vibration Exposure Calculator.

In addition to labelling machinery, it is to an employer’s discretion as to whether workstations should be labelled. It is recommended, however, to place hand-arm vibration labels near workstations to remind employees of best practice.

Get Your Hand-Arm Vibration Labels Today

If you’re working with machinery, then it is highly likely that you need good, reliable labels to stay within workplace regulations.

We stock high-quality, dependable hand-arm vibration labels to keep your workplace safe.


PPE is a hot topic in the UK now. Most coverage has rightfully dealt with the more overt types of PPE such as masks, goggles and gloves. PPE, however, is a broad term, and signs are included under its vast umbrella.

PPE signs and symbols are an oft-forgotten aspect of personal safety in the workplace. They play an essential role in managing protective behaviour by reinforcing safety and keeping staff accountable.

Below, we discuss the place PPE signs have, what mandatory signs certain businesses must have and how they are designed to keep people safe.

What is PPE?

PPE refers to “personal protective equipment”. Broadly, there are eight categories of PPE:

  • Respiratory protection – such as ventilators or breathing masks
  • Eye protection – such as goggles or spectacles
  • Hearing protection – such as ear plugs or earmuffs
  • Hand protection – such as gloves or protective cream
  • Foot protection – such as specialised boots and shoes
  • Head protection – such as helmets or hoods
  • Height protection – such as harnesses
  • Skin protection – such as long-sleeved or hi-viz clothes and sun creams

From doctors on the frontline protecting themselves from infection to outdoor workers protecting themselves from the sun, PPE is there to keep people safe on multiple levels.

Legally, employers have certain responsibilities when it comes to PPE. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employees cannot be charged for the provision of PPE. Under Section 9, the law states:

"No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions".

This means, as an employer, it is your legal duty to supply PPE without charge.

How Can PPE Signs Help?

PPE doesn’t end with equipment, however. You need to keep your employees trained in its use and put proactive measures in place to keep them reminded of that training.

This is where PPE signs come in. PPE signs are mandatory signs that are put in place to remind employees to wear what is needed properly.

All of these signs consist of a blue circle with a white background and text panel:

They are easily recognisable, but employers must make an effort for them to be seen by staff and the public (if relevant).

It’s very simple to understand what these mandatory signs mean. They are purposefully and concisely designed to maximise safety and ensure understanding irrelevant of language or cultural barriers.

Perhaps the most recognisable PPE symbols in the UK is the “wear head protection” sign. It’s simple, clear and communicates quickly that headgear needs to be worn.

Fundamentally, PPE signs are there for moments where employees may forget a key stage of their PPE preparation. It’s a much-needed safety net that ultimately saves lives.

Get PPE Signs Today

If you have staff that require PPE, then don’t forget that you need signs, too. Discover our full range of PPE signs today. Be sure to check out our range of social distancing signs, too, to stay safe and accountable. 

Identifying pipes is essential to keep workers safe and maintenance organised. No plumber or engineer wants to work on unidentified pipes.

Not only must labels be placed correctly, but the correct colours need to satisfy a specific colour scheme which communicates a pipe’s contents.

Discover how to use pipe identification labels in line with British standards, here.

BS 1710 Pipe Marking Standards

This legislation was penned in 1984 to direct how pipelines, ducting and electrical cables should be labelled.

Labels and tapes are essential to warn of the risks associated with certain pipelines. Without these standards, accidents and injuries occur.

These standards dictate that certain colours should be used in specific patterns, and these colours are listed in an associated colour code.

The Colour Code

The BS 1710 colour code has three categories:

  • Basic Identification Colours (8 colours)
  • Safety Colours (4 colours)
  • Code and Other Colours (11 colours)

The basic identification colours used are dependent on the type of liquid a pipe is transporting. They are as follows:

  • Water - Green 12D45
  • Steam – Silver-Grey 10A03
  • Oils – Brown 06C39
  • Gases – Yellow ochre 08C35
  • Acids & Alkalis – Violet 22C37
  • Air – Light blue 20E51
  • Electrical – Orange 06E51
  • Fire services – Red 04E53
  • Other – Black 00E53

Safety colours are an addition to the basic identification colours and are used by emergency services. The other colours category is not of primary focus for labelling and safety.

How to Apply Pipe Identification Labels Correctly

The BS 1710 standards require information to be conveyed in set ways. Pipe content names, symbols, numbers or abbreviations must be printed in black or white, whichever has the best contrast.

As for application, the labels must be placed directly onto the pipe, so they’re legible. The background colour of the label must match the safety identification colour from the above colour code.

Not only that, but the label must also convey information through one of the following methods:

  • The full name of the pipe’s contents
  • A common abbreviation
  • The chemical symbol
  • A refrigerant number
  • Correct colour band

By following this code, there is plenty of information available to keep people safe and maintenance efficient.

Buy Pipe Identification Labels Today

Label Source stocks an extensive range of pipe identification labels in many colour bands. Whatever your pipe identification needs, our stock has you covered with clear and durable labels.