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A.P.L.U.S. Standards

Alberta Pipeline Labeling & Utility Signage (APLUS)

A.P.L.U.S. Standards

Alberta Pipeline Labeling & Utility Signage (APLUS) standards is to serve as guides to Alberta's energy resources operations, HSE organizations, sign manufacturers & governmental authorities having jurisdiction over subjects within the scope. Like many other benificial initiatives, such as eco-friendly movement, APLUS standards are conciously adopted, not mandatory. If these standards are adopted for governmental use, the reference of other national codes or standards in individual volumes may be changed to refer to the corresponding regulations.

Scope. This standard establishes the minimum requirements for the control to prevent inconsistencies in safety messages, sizes, materials and design that could impair the effectiveness in recognizing and understanding the information being conveyed pertaining to safety signs and labels used in the pipleine & utility sector. This standard does not cover the following:
National codes, standards, regulations, acts or directives of any kind.

Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to establish specification objectives for performance of the safety signs and labels, on or around well sites, facilities & pipelines during construction, maintenance, operations, installation and associated activities of Alberta's energy resources.


Audit & Maintenance of Regulated Signs/Labels

Sign maintenance is an on-going task which should be reviewed regularly to prevent & repair deficiencies.
Common issues to watch for when maintaining your regulated signage include:

- Degraded warning symbols due to sun fading, especially warning in red, which tend to fade faster then other colors.
- Degraded graphics & text messasges due to peeling, sun fading or weather errosion.
- Loose hardware bolts & mounting brackets which can become loose from wind vibrations.
- Firmly planted sign posts and slanting due to seasonal ground freezing & thawing combined with wind.
- Reviewing & updating regulations such as emergency contacts.

Do you require sign auditing & maintenance for your regulated signage?


Recommended Material Standards
- Safety signs & labels should be laminated with UV Protection & Tamper Proof overlay using Heat Assisted Sealing Methods to gain maximum longevity of safety messages.
- .080 Rust free aluminum or 0.080 coated white enamel aluminum.
- Should be designed to resist fading and mild chemicals.
- Vinyl grading should have a lifespan minimum of up to 7 years.


Minimum Effective Viewing Distances.

Determining the safe viewing distance of a signage & labeling depends upon many factors, including:

Lighting, background, letter type and visual acuity.

Factors In Determining Label Size

The complexity of the message, the reaction time necessary, and the angle the sign will be seen from.
In many situations it is better to use multiple safety signs that are strategically positioned instead of one large one which contains multiple messages.


Many times letter size may need to be larger than the values shown on the graphic for a variety of reasons:
1.) To make the label more noticeable from other information displayed in the area, such as Emergency Contacts.
2.) To enable legibility under low light, or other poor viewing conditions. Reflective sheeting can assist.
3.) To alert persons sooner than the minimum safe viewing distance, where hazards may extent visiual boundaries such as explosions
or vapours.
4.) To convey special importance for portions of the message.


Text Message Letter Height Examples
* Minimum safe viewing distance refers to the closest distance a person can be to the label/sign and still have time to follow the safety message to avoid and/or react to the hazard.

Minimum Safe Viewing Distance

Minimum Letter height
for Favorable reading conditions

Recommended Letter height
for Favorable reading conditions

1 ft or less*

0.8" / 8 points

0.8" / 8 points

2 ft

0.10" / 10 points

0.16" / 16 points

3 ft

0.12" / 12 points

0.19" / 19 points

4 ft

0.14" / 14 points

0.22" / 22 points

5 ft

0.16" / 16 points

0.25" / 25 points

6 ft

0.18" / 18 points

0.28" / 28 points

7 ft

0.20" / 20 points

0.31" / 31 points

8 ft

0.22" / 22 points

0.34" / 34 points


Sign Installation

It is well recognized that in many instances, well designed and properly placed safety labels & signage
can increase operator and maintenance personnel awareness of the inherent hazards involved when working.

When installing signs we recommend to keep in mind the following criteria:

- Sign needs to be readily visible to the target audience.
- Sign needs to alert the viewer to the hazard upon entering area, in anticipation to take appropriate action.
- Signs are required to be installed on or adjacent to the area where the hazard is present in accordance with applicable regulations.
- Signs are recommended to be permanently installed using approiate gauge sign posts suited for the dimensions of the sign being installed, or;

securely affixed using appropriate screws or fastners to an appropriate surface.