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Marine & Offshore

Marine & Offshore environments have very stringent and specific requirements.

Installations there operate in mostly hostile environments, constantly exposed to sea water and storms while processing flammable fluid and gases; are often isolated far away from land and infrastructure; and their personnel, often of multi-national origins, is exposed to such.

In addition, space is highly constrained, leading to confined areas and pipe networks optimized to the max to optimize space occupation. Whether it’s a jack-up rig, a F.P.S.O. or a F.L.N.G, these offshore and marine installations typically have kilometers of pipes and hundreds of valves carrying dozens of different fluids!

In these conditions, ensuring operations safety & emergency situations handling are critical, thus key safety pillars are key equipments & fluids identification and evacuation procedures, which are typically standardized by international organizations, as detailed below.

Standards & Regulations Overview

The International Maritime Organization (IMO in short) is the central organisation that regulates and defines best practices for the Marine industry as whole by maintaining treaties and issuing resolutions, that are themselves complemented by / refer to various standards such as ISO 7010,ISO 14726, etc.

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, is IMO main treaty, and is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.

Escape Routes Regulations

One of IMO/SOLAS key resolutions is Resolution A.116(30) which provide guidelines for escape route signs and equipment location markings.

This resolution in turn refer to various ISO standards, most important being ISO 7010, Graphical symbols — Safety colours and safety signs — Registered safety signs, which standardize a set of graphics to be used for safety and evacuation signs, itself referencing multiple ISO standards for things like colors definition, etc.

IDIGO photoluminescent safety signs are fully compliant with these IMO/SOLAS requirements.

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Pipe Marking

Pipe Markers are needed to be able to identify their fluid content and class (flammable, etc.).

The most commonly used standard for such marking in Marine & Offshore is ISO 14726, Ships and marine technology — Identification colours for the content of piping systems

IDIGO pipe marking tapes are fully compliant with ISO 14726:2008 and are available in various materials and mounting mode for pipe of any diameter.

If your project need other standard compliance, we also support ANSI / ASME A13.1 (see Oil & Gas application), NBR6493, NORSOK Z-DP-002 and more. Consult us directly for such projects.

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Following paragraphs will introduce key aspects of some of these Marine & Offshore standards and regulations.

IMO Resolution A.116(30) & ISO 7010 Escape route Signs and Equipment Location Markings


A Safety Sign is defined as, according to this resolution: "Sign giving a general safety message, obtained by a combination of a colour and geometric shape and which, by the addition of a graphical symbol, gives a particular safety message."

Signs Categories

Signs are classified based on on their function as follows, with sign shape and color guidelines:

IMO Resolution A.116 Signs Categories
Code Meaning Usage Description Shape/Color
MES Means of Escape Signs Escape route identification. IMO Escape/Emergency/Life-saving template (rectangle, green)
EES Emergency Equipment Signs Use and location of first aid facilities and portable safety equipment.
LSS Life-saving Systems Signs Use and location of life-saving systems and appliances.
FES Fire-fighting Equipment Signs Use and location of fire-fighting systems and appliances. IMO Fire-fighting sign template (rectangle, red)
WSS Hazard Warning Safety Signs Identify Hazards to avoid. IMO Warning sign template (triangle, blakc & yellow)
MSS Mandatory Safety Signs Mandatory Notices and Instructions. IMO Mandatory sign template (circle, blue)

Individual Sign Definition

A specific sign is defined by its code, description and graphic representation that is used in the sign itself.

Note: where needed, the graphical representation can be complemented by a text + colors expliciting a variant of it. In some projects these "extended signs instead (or in addition) of the text/color use a slightly, tolerated but non-standard, modified graphic representation.

Find below examples of these 3 types of representation.

IMO Resolution A.116 Sign Definition Examples
codebuilt using its category + an index name/description graphic symboldefined in details in ISO 7010 with a specific, different code
MES001standard Shipboard Assembly Station IMO sign example: MES001ISO 7010: E032
FES006, Waterwith text/color Wheeled fire extinguisher
IMO sign with complementary area example: FES006(W)ISO 7010: FES006(W) with complementary area
FES006, Watercustom Wheeled fire extinguisher
IMO sign custom deisgn example: F009ISO 7010: FES006(W) custom
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ISO 14726:2008: Ships and marine technology — Identification colours for the content of piping systems

Color Coding principles ISO 14726

ISO 14726 defines color coding based on pipe fluid classes.

Initially, aka in ISO 14726-1:1999, only one color, later called main color, was used to represent the generic class of the fluid, out of 12 defined classes.

ISO 14726-2:2002 added a secondary color to be used in complement of the main color to identify subclasses.

ISO 14726 also roughtly defines how these colors should be used, with the main color being on the "outside" and occupying at least 50% of the total marker surface.

Fluid Classes: Main Colors ISO 14726:1999

Main classes and associated colors, "coded" in the ISO documentation using a short code, with their colorimetry defined, are as follows:

ISO 14726 Main Fluid Classes & Colors
Fluid Class Color Sample Code
Waste Media Black Waste Media BK
Fresh Water Blue Fresh Water BU
Fuel Brown Fuel BN
Sea Water Green Sea Water GN
Non-flammable Gases Grey Non-flammable Gases GY
Air and Sounding Pipes Maroon Air and Sounding Pipes MN
Oil other than Fuel Orange Oil other than Fuel OG
Steam Silver Steam SR
Fire Fighting Red Fire Fighting RD
Acids, Alkalis Violet Acids, Alkalis VT
Air in Ventilation Systems White Air in Ventilation WH
Flammable Gases Yellow Flammable Gases YE

Full List of Fluid classes and subclasses with their color combinationsISO 14726:2008

Below you will find fluid class "tabs", one per main ISO fluid class, displaying all defined subclasses, related colors* combination and sample using:

  • right & left bands in primary color with directional arrow,
  • center band with secondary color and single legend.

Also of notes:

  • missing combinations can be used for user-defined fluid subclasses, as long as main color is correctly assigned,
  • legends are also often project specifics, in multiple langages etc.
ISO 14726 Dual-Color Fluid Classes
  1. Waste Media
  2. Fresh Water
  3. Fuel
  4. Sea Water
  5. Non-flammable Gases
  6. Air and Sounding Pipes
  7. Oils other than fuels
  8. Steam
  9. Fire fighting
  10. Acids, alkalis
  11. Air in ventilation systems
  12. Flammable gases

Click on a specific fluid class above to display its detailed subclasses below.

Waste Media
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Black water BK - BU - BK Black Water
Waste oil/Used oil BK - BN - BK Waste oil
Bilge water BK - GN - BK Bilge water
Exhaust gas BK - GY - BK Exhaust gas
Grey water BK - WH - BK Grey water
Sewage, Contaminated BK - YE - BK Sewage
Fresh Water
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Fresh water, sanitary BU - BN - BU Sanitary Fresh water
Potable water BU - GN - BU Potable water
Distillate BU - GY - BU Distillate
Gas-turbine wash water BU - OG - BU Gas-turbine water
Feed water BU - SR - BU Feed water
Cooling fresh water BU - VT - BU Cooling fresh water
Chilled water BU - WH - BU Chilled water
Condensate BU - YE - BU Condensate
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Heavy fuel oil (HFO) BN - BK - BN Heavy fuel oil
Aviation fuel BN - BU - BN Aviation fuel
Biological fuel BN - VT - BN Biological fuel
Gas turbine fuel BN - WH - BN Gas turbine fuel
Marine diesel fuel (MDO) BN - YE - BN Marine diesel fuel
Sea Water
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Decontamination water GN - BU - GN Decontamination water
Sea water, sanitary GN - BN - GN Sanitary sea water
Ballast water GN - VT - GN Ballast water
Cooling sea water GN - YE - GN Cooling sea water
Non Flammable Gases
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Oxygen GY - BU - GY Oxygen
Inert gas GY - BN - GY Argon
Nitrogen GY - GN - GY Nitrogen
Refrigerant GY - MN - GY Refrigerant
Compressed Air,
Low pressure (LP)
GY - OG - GY LP Compressed Air
Compressed Air,
High pressure (HP)
GY - RD - GY HP Compressed Air
Control Air/Regulating Air GY - VT - GY Control Air
Breathing Air GY - WH - GY Breathing Air
Breathing Gas GY - YE - GY Breathing Gas
Air and Sounding Pipes
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Air, Waste Media MN - BK - MN Waste Media Vent
Air, Fresh Water MN - BU - MN Fresh Water Sounding
Air, Fuel MN - BN - MN Fuel Sounding
Air, Sea Water MN - GN - MN Sea Water Sounding
Air, Non-Flammable Gases MN - GY - MN Non-Flammable Vent
Air, Oil other than fuels MN - OG - MN Oil Vent
Air, Steam MN - SR - MN Steam Vent
Air, Fire Fighting MN - SR - MN Fire Fighting Vent
Air, Acids/Alkalis MN - VT - MN Acid Vent
Air, Ventilation system MN - WH - MN Vent
Air, Flammable gases MN - YE - MN Flammable Vent
Oils other than fuels
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Thermal Fluid OG - BU - OG Thermal Fluid
Lubrification Oil
for Gas Turbines
OG - GN - OG Lube Oil, Gas Turbine
Hydraulic Fluid OG - GY - OG Hydraulic Fluid
Lubrification Oil
for Steam Turbines
OG - SR - OG Lube Oil, Steam Turbine
Lubrification Oil
for Gears
OG - VT - OG Lube Oil, Gears
Lubrification Oil
for Internal Combustion Engines
OG - YE - OG Lube Oil, Engines
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Steam for heating purposes SR - BK - SR Heating Steam
Driving Steam SR - GN - SR Driving Steam
Exhaust Steam SR - WH - SR Exhaust Steam
Supply Steam SR - YE - SR Supply Steam
Fire Fighting
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Fire-Fighting Water RD - GN - RD Fire-Fighting Water
Fire-Fighting Gas RD - GY - RD Fire-Fighting Gas
Sprinkler Water RD - OG - RD Sprinkler Water
Spray Water RD - VT - RD Spray Water
Fire-Fighting Powder RD - WH - RD Fire-Fighting Powder
Fire-Fighting Foam RD - YE - RD Fire-Fighting Foam
Acids, Alkalis
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Hydrochloric acid* VT - YE - VT Hydrochloric acid

* All Acids/Alkalis color combinations are user defined, above is just an example.

Air in Ventilation Systems
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Discharge Air WH - BK - WH Discharge Air Water
Mechanical Supply Air, Cold WH - BU - WH Cold Mechanical Supply Air
Natural Exhaust Air WH - BN - WH Exhaust Air
Athmospheric Air WH - GN - WH Athmospheric Air
Mechanical Exhaust Air WH - GY - WH Mechanical Exhaust Air
Decontaminated Supply Air WH - MN - WH Clean Supply Air
Mechanical Recirculated Air WH - OG - WH Recirculated Mechanical Air
Mechanical Supply Air, Warm WH - SR - WH Warm Mechanical Supply Air
Smoke Clearance WH - RD - WH Smoke Clearance
Conditioned Supply Air WH - VT - WH Conditioned Supply Air
Natural Supply Air WH - YE - WH Natural Supply Air
Flammable Gases
Media Description Color Combination Sample
Hydrogen YE - BU - YE Hydrogen
Acetylene YE - GY - YE Acetylene
Liquid Gas YE - VT - YE LNG

* Colors above are indicative and do not reflect actual compliant colors used for markers.

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Oil & Gas image

Oil & Gas

IDIGO pipe marking tapes are fully compliant with ANSI / ASME 13.1* pipe labeling standards and are available as full wrap-up or as mounted plates for pipe of any diameter.

See Paragraph below dedicated to ASME 13.1 that reviews some of the key aspects of this standard, in particular its pipe marking color coding scheme and marker dimensions.

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While valve tags are not formally standardized, it is customary to follow the same coloring scheme with indication of “Normally Close/Normally Open”

IDIGO valve tags are available in engraved durable plastic or stainless steel for maximum durability.

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*If your project need other standard compliance, consult us directly.

ASME 13.1 Scheme for the Identification of Piping Systems

Originally an American standard, later adopted in many countries either as-is or with minor variations as ANSI standard, ASME 13.1 defines in very practical ways how pipes should be marked: legend and marker sizes, suggested font, color coding, and guidelines on where to install such markers.

ASME 13.1, Color Coding principles

ASME 13.1 defines color coding based on pipe fluid classes, with 4 reserved for user defined, as follows:

ASME 13.1 Primary Colors
Fluid Class Color Sample
Fire quenching Red FIRE FIGHTING White Text On Red
Toxic & Corrosive Orange NITRIC ACID Black Text On Orange
Flammable Yellow ACETONE Black Text On Yellow
Combustible Brown LUBRICATING OIL White Text On Brown
Water Green SEA WATER White Text On Green
Compressed Air Blue COMPRESSED AIR White Text On Green
User Defined Violet OTHER 1 White Text On Violet
White OTHER 2 Black Text On White
Grey OTHER 3 White Text On Grey
Black OTHER 4 White Text On Black

ASME 13.1, Pipe labeling Sizes

ASME 13.1 defines minimal marker width and label text letter height based on a set of pipe diameter ranges:

ASME 13.1 Pipe Marker Sizes
Pipe OD (NPS)Outside diameter, including insulation Marker WidthMinimum Letter HeightMinimum
¾" to 1¼" (19mm to 32mm) 8" (200mm) ½" (13mm)
1½" to 2" (38mm to 51mm) ¾" (19mm)
2½" to 6" (64mm to 150mm) 12" (300mm) 1 ¼" (32mm)
8" to 10" (200mm to 250mm) 24" (600mm) 2 ½" (64mm)
Over 10" (over 250mm) 32" (800mm) 3 ½" (89mm)
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Chemical & Pharamceutical image

Chemical & Pharmaceutical

Most countries have adopted GHS Rev 5 as part of their standard framework for labelling of storage and transport of chemical and hazardous substances, with a new Rev. 6 published in 2015. See dedicated GHS Standard section below for more details.

GHS labels and pipe markers design specifications are based on a combination of pictograms, colours, signal words and rules on how to apply and combine these. With the advent of mixtures and requirements to support these, each situation and its related set of markers has become very specific and close to unique.

Idigo Products Compliance with GHS

IDIGO label generator software allow us to quickly generate your GHS specific labels. Combined with IDIGO On-Demand manufacturing, we can deliver in record time hundreds of different GHS compliant pipe markers and labels to fulfill your requirements.

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GHS Rev 5 Specifications Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

GHS Objectives

The "GHS standard" refers to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, often abbreviated as GHS. It is a standardized system for classifying and labeling chemicals to ensure the safe handling, transportation, and use of hazardous substances globally.

Key aspects of the GHS standard include:

  1. Classification: GHS provides criteria for classifying chemicals into different hazard categories based on their physical, health, and environmental properties. It defines hazard classes such as flammable liquids, carcinogens, and corrosive substances.
  2. Labeling: GHS standardizes the labeling of chemical containers with specific pictograms, signal words (e.g., "Danger" or "Warning"), hazard statements, and precautionary statements. These labels provide essential information about the hazards associated with the chemical product.
  3. Safety Data Sheets (SDS): GHS requires the creation of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each hazardous chemical. SDSs contain detailed information about the chemical's properties, hazards, safe handling procedures, and emergency response measures.
  4. Information Transfer: GHS aims to ensure that relevant information about chemical hazards is communicated consistently throughout the supply chain, from manufacturers and distributors to end-users.
  5. Hazard Communication: GHS promotes clear and effective communication of chemical hazards to workers, emergency responders, and the general public, helping them make informed decisions about safe handling and use of chemicals.
  6. International Adoption: The GHS has been adopted by many countries and regions worldwide, leading to a more consistent and standardized approach to chemical classification and labeling. However, the specific implementation and regulatory requirements may vary from one jurisdiction to another

GHS Rev 5 is the basis of Singapore SS586, part 1-3: 2008. The implementation of this standard is now completed, with the mandatory marking of all hazardous substances, including mixtures effective as of July 1st 2016.

GHS Hazards Pictograms

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) uses standardized icons or pictograms to convey information about the hazards associated with chemicals. These pictograms are an essential part of GHS labeling and are used to provide quick visual cues to users about the potential risks of handling a particular chemical.

When handling chemicals, individuals should in addition refer to the labels and safety data sheets (SDS) to understand the specific hazards associated with a particular substance and take appropriate precautions to ensure safety.

Each pictogram represents a specific hazard category, as detailed below:

GHS Hazard Pictograms
Hazard Pictogram Description/Usage
GHS pictogram 01-Explosive

This pictogram represents explosives and materials that can explode if exposed to heat, shock, friction, or other factors.

It is often associated with fireworks and other explosive materials, and includes:

  • Unstable explosives
  • Explosives divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures types A, B
  • Organic peroxides types A, B
GHS pictogram 02-Flammable

This pictogram signifies flammable materials, including liquids, gases, and solids that can ignite easily when exposed to heat, flames, or sparks, generally most solvents.

It also covers materials that emit flammable gases upon contact with water, and includes:

  • Flammable gases category 1
  • Flammable aerosols categories 1, 2
  • Flammable liquids categories 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Flammable solids categories 1, 2
  • Pyrophoric liquids and solids category 1
  • Combustible solids and liquids category 3
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures categories 1, 2
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases categories 1, 2, 3
  • Self-reactive substances, mixtures and organic peroxides types B, C, D, E, F
GHS pictogram 03-Oxidizing

This pictogram represents oxidizing substances and materials that can increase the intensity of a fire or combustion when in contact with other flammable substances.

It includes:

  • Oxidizing gases category 1
  • Oxidizing liquids and solids categories 1, 2, 3
Compressed Gas
GHS pictogram 04-Compressed Gas

This pictogram indicates gases stored under pressure. It is commonly seen on containers holding compressed gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, or propane.

It includes:

  • Compressed gases
  • Liquefied gases
  • Refrigerated liquefied gases
  • Dissolved gases
GHS pictogram 05-Corrosive

This pictogram represents corrosive substances that can cause severe damage to skin, eyes, or metal surfaces upon contact.

It is often associated with strong acids and bases.

GHS pictogram 06-Toxic

This classic skull and crossbones pictogram indicate acute toxicity, particularly substances that can be lethal or cause severe health effects even in small quantities.

It includes chemicals that cause harm to human health through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact categories 1, 2, 3, both acute and chronic toxicity.

GHS pictogram 07-Harmful

This pictogram indicates materials that may cause skin or eye irritation or have other harmful effects on health.

It covers skin sensitizers and non-severe irritants, and includes:

  • Acute toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation) category 4
  • Skin irritation categories 2, 3
  • Eye irritation category 2A
  • Skin sensitization category 1
  • Specific target organ toxicity category 3 following single exposure:
    • Respiratory tract irritation
    • Narcotic effects
Health hazard
GHS pictogram 08-Health hazard

This category includes various other healthhazards not covered by the specific pictograms above. It covers substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reproductive toxicants (CMRs) or substances that pose a physical hazard not covered by the other categories.

It includes:

  • Respiratory sensitization category 1
  • Germ cell mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity, Reproductive toxicity categories 1A, 1B, 2
  • Specific target organ toxicity categories 1, 2 following single or repeated exposure
  • Aspiration hazard categories 1, 2
Environmental hazard
GHS pictogram 09-Environmental hazard

This pictogram represents substances and materials that can have adverse effects on the environment, such as aquatic toxicity or harm to ozone.

It includes:

  • Acute hazards to the aquatic environment category 1
  • Chronic hazards to the aquatic environment categories 1, 2
  • Environmental toxicity categories 1, 2
Note: No pictogram is required for:
  • Acute hazards to the aquatic environment categories 2, 3
  • Chronic hazards to the aquatic environment categories 3, 4

GHS also defines pictograms dedicated to Transport safety Signs and gazes.

For details on these, consult Wikipedia GHS hazard pictograms page or refer to latest GHS standard, rev 9E.

GHS Pipes Labeling

Image of a pipe labeled with GHS pictograms and label

GHS not only cover labelling of storage tanks, bottles etc, but also transport of these via pipes etc.

More specifically for piping labeling, rule “Workplace labelling” explicitly states that GHS labels should be applied to “piping systems including valves” and that such installations should ensure clear hazard communication through the “use of displays with GHS symbols, colour and signal words in piping systems and processing equipments”.

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