The Importance of Flagging and Marking | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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Flagging and Marking your Area

infographic flagging and marking your area

One important aspect of operating a safe workspace is understanding the importance of flagging and marking. Using these indicators to inform other workers, residents, and passersby of the location of various utilities, you can reduce the odds of a serious accident. Surveying and marking a site takes time and a comprehensive understanding of what tools to use and which colored marking flags refer to which utilities. Take a moment to look over these points to gain a better understanding on the various safety protocols used. This will help you figure out the best way to keep your site protected. p>infographic flagging and marking your area

What Products Are Good for Flagging?

As with all safety tasks, the right gear and tools will be invaluable. Flagging tape, colored markers, spray paint, and other products all play an important part in establishing a clear understanding of what hidden utilities are located where. It is important to note that you cannot simply purchase any flags and markers you wish. Each symbol and color used work to convey specific messages. Before you can grab the right items, you need to understand how a job site is marked up in accordance with accepted standards. In addition to having flags and markers handy, you must also invest in an appropriate utility locator. Once you’re able to establish your site, the locator will be vital in pinpointing the exact spots where various utility lines and pipes are buried. After you’ve got your preferred device, you’re ready to move into the initial phase of marking a site: creating a perimeter.

How To Mark Up a Job Site

A worksite is defined in a number of ways. For large construction projects, for example, a temporary fence will be erected in order to keep unauthorized people from wandering into a potentially dangerous zone. Not all utility-location projects will have such requirements, however. For smaller or less-involved endeavors, caution tape or rope can be used to create some quick definition to the specifics of your site. When using tape, it is important to select a bright color and a thickness based around the area it will be placed and duration it will be required. Tape used for flagging is also key to alerting workers of the various hazards that might be present while on the job. The tape is used like a flag or similar marker, being nailed to a stake so that it can be easily identified. The color code for the flags is set by the American Public Works Association. Before purchasing marking flags, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the basic color code.

The Color Code of Flagging and Marking

The colors you will need for your site will vary depending on the nature of the work you are doing and the specifics of the land you’re working on. Pink flags are used by those beginning to survey an area and will be placed early to inform others that the process is underway but it is not safe to conduct other work yet. Similarly, white tape is critical because it is placed in areas deemed acceptable for excavation. When white flags are seen, workers know the space has been surveyed and is free of potential danger. Yellow markings denote the location of lines connected to oil, gas, petroleum, steam, and similar gaseous materials. Red warning markers are placed to indicate power lines and cables or anything specifically dealing with electricity. Blue flags show the location of potable water, while purple points to reclaimed water or irrigation lines. Green markers are put in places where sewage and drainage systems are present. Finally, orange is the color used for telecommunications lines and any local or personal security systems. Having a grasp over these colors is crucial for ensuring safety on a job site.

Staying Clear of Danger

Avoiding utility lines while working on a job site is all about staying informed. You will not be able to dig or drill safely unless you have a thorough understanding of what each flag and marker symbolizes. Otherwise, a wrong move could lead to disastrous results for you or other members of your team. Exploring a few frequently asked questions is a good way to familiarize yourself with some of the more commonplace concerns that can arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Utility Flags Be Moved By Property Owners?

Many workers worry that a flag will be moved or misplaced by a property owner or someone passing too close to a work site. While plenty of people will attempt this for various reasons, it is not legal for anyone except those involved with the project.

Which Utility Uses Yellow Marking Flags?

Since yellow is one of the more common flags found around construction sites and smaller projects alike, it is good to know what it refers to. As mentioned, yellow flags are an indication of gas lines. Properly marking these hidden utilities can increase safety and actually help to save lives.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Hidden Utility?

If you’re using a device to locate utilities and have begun to dig, it can be useful to show a bit of restraint and observe what you come across. Coming across a pipe, cable, or fixture below the surface of the ground in a safe way is much better than accidentally slamming into it with heavy machinery.

What Are Whiskers?

Whiskers are a popular alternative to flags and markers. Resembling a bundle of dry spaghetti stands, using these colorful items is a modern way to safely mark a site.

Can Paint Be Used To Mark a Site?

Spray paint and similar marking tools are often used to indicate the specifics of various utility locations. As with markers and flags, the color system is used to indicate what the paint means. The more you learn about the process of using devices to locate utilities and marking flags to keep a job site safe, the easier it becomes to invest in the right tools for the job. Browse through the options at Engineer Supply to find the perfect fit for you.
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