Posted on

Red Light, Green Light: Using Traffic Light Temperature Labels to Prevent Burns

Surprises come in two varieties. There are the good ones, like expected birthday parties and bonuses on our paychecks, or finding a crumpled up, forgotten about $20 bill in a pair of jeans pulled fresh from the dryer.

Expensive car repairs and impromptu doctor visits are more of the type that we’d probably like to avoid if at all possible. Add to that list the excruciating pain felt when grabbing a hot pot or pan that’s been sitting on a stove burner.

While the burning sensation will often subside when given time or instantly quelled with a splash of cool water, grabbing a hot pipe or piece of machinery in an industrial or commercial environment often cannot be vanquished quite so easily.

In a single moment, anyone coming into contact with an excessively hot surface can suffer from trauma that could prove to be debilitating, or worse yet, fatal. These types of injuries can be prevented, though, with the use of a temperature indicator label.

And while there are many different types of these labels available for purchase, a popular style incorporates a take on traffic lights in order to make immediately noticeable whether a surface can safely be touched or not.

Please note that all temperature ranges listed below apply specifically to Unitech’s traffic light temperature labels.

Red Light

The temperature of a stovetop pan and a pipe transporting hot liquids onboard a ship may be worlds apart, but grab either and you’ll realize in an instant that you’ve made a terrible mistake.

One of the primary reasons that traffic light temperature labels are so popular is because they are so easy to understand and don’t require any complex thought processing on the user’s behalf.

Red means stop, both at a busy intersection and when approaching equipment with traffic light temperature labels displaying the same color. It’s as simple as that.

Generally, the label will reflect a bright, bold red color when the temperature exceeds 70° C (158° F). At this range, users should avoid coming into contact with the surface on which the label is affixed, unless wearing appropriate safety gear or once the equipment has had time to cool down.

Yellow Light

While the intention of a glowing amber traffic light is for motorists to slow down, it’s quite often viewed as a last-ditch reminder to either speed up or face the indignation of having to wait for another two minutes for the light to change again.

But when it comes to industrial environments, slow down and think is exactly what needs to be done.

When the label is reflecting a yellow color, that means the temperature is somewhere in the range of 50° – 70° C (122° – 158° F). This is cause for consideration, and safety precautions should still be observed.

Green Light

Green is a go for when the surface being monitored dips to 50° C (122° F) or lower. Although this indicates that it should be safe for handling, it is still wise to exercise precautionary measures.

The Intersection of Safety and Asset Protection

With traffic light temperature labels in place, distractions or other workplace hustle-and-bustle shouldn’t interfere with an employee’s ability to recognize if a surface is safe to interact with. The familiar three-tiered color scheme will let them know if they need to wait before coming into contact with it.

And as if keeping hands free from burns isn’t reason enough to consider installing these labels, consider this; machinery that has the tendency to generate a lot of heat during operation can also potentially overheat. Machines that overheat regularly have a greater propensity to break down and perform less efficiently than equipment that is maintained at normal operating temperatures.

Temperature labels can make it easy to monitor the range that a piece of machinery is operating at, and traffic light labels can reduce the amount of time needed for monitoring to just mere seconds. Machines will last longer by running at optimal temperatures, reducing the need for costly repairs and replacement of equipment.

The Third Degree

Scalded fingers and burnt hands are no fun, but in the context of an industrial setting, there’s a lot more at stake for anyone who unknowingly comes into contact with excessively hot machinery. It only takes a momentarily lapse in judgment to inflict long-lasting injury.

But it also only takes a moment to affix a few traffic light temperature labels on equipment that could potentially be hazardous and protect the well being of your employees and the monetary investment in your operation.