Safety tags are a fundamental part of site health and safety, providing valuable information on the state of key equipment – letting everyone on site know whether the item is safe to use, when it was last inspected and when the next inspection is due.
Here is our guide to everything you need to know about safety tags, their uses and benefits.
Working above the ground level is intrinsically dangerous: any misstep can result in a fall that causes severe injuries or even death. Safety tags will not prevent those missteps, but they will help to minimise structural issues or equipment failures that could cause you to fall. These tags should typically form part of your compliance with various regulations, including the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 2007.
For added safety, you can use a tag holder that displays a bold ‘Do Not Use’ message if the tag is removed.
Ladder inspection tags – these not only have the inspection information, but also a handy checklist for operators to run through to make sure the ladder is fit for use. Ladders should be checked over once a day at a minimum (before the first use of the day). Basic checks include for cleanliness, warping, cracks and missing or loose rungs/treads.
Scaffold inspection tags – these tags should be placed at every access point, typically at the ground level on a ladder access. Scaffold inspections should take place after the structure is first completed, and thereafter once every week – or after any event that might have affected the stability, including wind, rain, earthquakes, nearby car accidents, etc.
Safety harness tags – these tags are much smaller than the other working at height tags, as they are attached directly to the harness and need to be small enough to not impede the use of the device. The tag demonstrates that the harness has been checked for wear and tear, fraying and issues with any buckles or connections, and it should display a weight limit where possible.
Forklifts present a range of potential hazards – brakes and seatbelts can fail, forks can snap, break or bend, wheels can become misaligned. The safety tags applied to forklift trucks indicate that all of those things have been checked, as well as other potential issues. Forklift trucks need to be inspected on a fairly regular basis, as well as immediately after any impacts or other incidents that may cause unseen or unexpected damage.
Some chemicals commonly in use on industrial sites require swift and specific action when there's a spill, leak or other issue. These chemical safety tags provide the information that is needed in an emergency – the name of the chemicals (chemical name and the trade name), the type of first aid/immediate response that is needed, any additional information for first responders or medical personnel, and the correct protocol for cleaning up spills. The tag should also indicate the type of fire extinguisher that should be used to deal with any fires based on that specific chemical.
The safety tags used for shelving and racking serve two valuable functions – they give all the important inspection information (the time and date of the last inspection and when it was carried out), and they clearly show the maximum load of the individual shelf and the overall structure. This is so that loading personnel can easily see at a glance if the shelves or racks are capable of safely holding the stock or equipment that is being placed on them.