What Are Safety Tags and What Are They Used For?

In the UK, injuries and ill health resulting from workplace conditions cost an estimated £15 billion each year. Safety standards have improved considerably thanks to better regulations. Most businesses now dedicate a lot of resources to improving safety procedures and training for their employees. In addition, the availability and effectiveness of safety tools and features gets better every year.

While technology is helping to make machines and workplaces safer than ever, many of the best safety features are those that are relatively low-tech and low-cost. The simple solutions are often better, as they’re less likely to break down, and they’re much easier to use. Safety tags are one such feature, offering a low cost yet highly effective solution to workplace accidents.

What is a Safety Tag?

Effective communication is a vital aspect of maintaining a safe and productive workplace. Safety tags provide workers with important information about potentially dangerous situations, tools, and processes. These tags reduce the likelihood of mishaps and injury by acting as reminders and warning indicators.

There are many different types of safety tags for different tools and situations, including ladder tags and scaffolding tags, machine tags and lockout tags. While they’re used for different equipment and in different situations, the goal of each is the same: to provide employees with clear messaging about the status of the equipment and how it can be used.

Ladder and Scaffolding Tags

Ladder tags and scaffolding tags are affixed to equipment to clearly show whether it is safe to use and so prevent accidents. The ladder tags serve as records for ladder inspections and guarantee that ladder maintenance and inspection protocols are followed. The function of scaffolding tags is the same. This equipment needs to be inspected regularly to ensure it’s still safe to use, as a failure in the ladder or scaffolding could cause a serious accident.

Safety tags also guarantee that the apparatus complies with applicable laws. The tags are made up of write-on inserts that are inserted into a holder that is fixed to the device. These tags are available for purchase as separate parts that come in packs, or as ladder and scaffold tag kits that include the holder and inserts. This includes information for employees on how to use the equipment, normally in the form of a simple checklist.

Machine Tags

Like scaffolding and ladder tags, machine tags provide information to employees to help prevent accidents. In this case, they’re used exclusively on machinery, informing employees on their correct usage. Once again, a checklist is provided on the tag to ensure that the right safety procedures are followed and to highlight potential issues.

Machines also need to be inspected regularly, and this information can be logged on the tag. This helps the business comply with regulations while also ensuring the highest possible safety standards. If a machine has passed its due date for inspection, employees will know to flag it and not use it. Without a proper tag, workers may incorrectly use a machine or use a faulty machine, increasing the chance of dangerous accidents.

Lockout Tags

When a machine or piece of equipment is being repaired, a lockout tag should always be applied. This tag informs workers that the machine is under repair, meaning it would be potentially dangerous to turn it on. 

Lock outs can also be used to physically prevent a device from being activated, ensuring the safety of any repair technician working on it. Once the machine is repaired, the lockout tag can be removed, allowing the machinery to be used safely once more.

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