ISO 20560: a global standard in the marking of piping systems and tanks
ISO 20560 is a new global standard ensuring uniformity in the marking of piping systems and tanks. This is the very first global standard which outlines a unified marking safety system for pipes and storage tanks. The uniformity of graphical symbols, coherent colour coding solutions and identical methods of information distribution are to ensure better recognition and quicker comprehension to enable an immediate identification of potential danger.
The identification of the content of piping systems and industrial tanks is an extremely important safety aspect. It reduces the risk of misunderstandings during operation and maintenance work to an absolute minimum, which contributes to an overall increase in safety.
Until recently, there existed various national and international standards for the marking of piping systems and tanks; however, there was no single, coherent system. This is set to change with the implementation of the new ISO 20560 standard. Specialists delegated by as many as nine countries were actively involved in the development of this new standard. This working group was responsible for developing the new guidelines of ISO 20560-1 – the part relating to piping systems and ISO 20560-2 – the part focusing on tanks.
The reasoning behind the new ISO 20560 standard is the standardisation of the system and procedures for the marking of tanks and pipelines in a consistent and understandable manner regardless of the type of facility where the new guidelines are applied. This will ensure that the identification of hazards inside any factory compliant with ISO 20560 will be consistent and understandable to both permanent employees, external service providers and emergency services.
The use of one particular standard in facilities across Europe and around the world will contribute to the improvement in occupational safety and will also reduce the risk of accidents. Nonetheless, it is crucial to carry out suitable training courses and induction training for employees working in the facilities.
The safety information marking methods outlined in ISO 20560 supplement the existing and commonly applied ISO 7010 standards – for hazard and safety signs as well as emergency exits, and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and marking of Chemicals (GHS) – a standard managed by the United Nations to warn about hazards posed by hazardous substances.
Elements of the safety information system for pipelines – ISO 20560
The amount of information contained in a pipeline marking system is dependent on various factors such as the type of facility, its complexity, the availability of safe work instructions as well as the competencies and skills of those working on each section of the installation. Each enterprise is required to select the necessary information to be displayed on the pipelines on the basis of its own operating instructions and the hazards resulting from work organisation and risk assessment procedures.
The information contained in the safety marking system must include:
- colour coding to identify the contents of the pipeline,
- the name of the medium,
- arrows indicating the direction of flow,
- where necessary, warning signs and GHS symbols – either on their own or together.
Would your company like to implement the ISO 20560 standard? Our expertise and experience in the marking of piping systems and tanks will help you make this a reality. Contact us if you would like more information on the new ISO 20560 standard or if you wish to receive a quote for the marking of pipes and tanks.