December 7, 2005 | Mark Paradies

What is a Good Label?

What is a good label?

Probably the most frequent labeling problem I see is NO LABELS.


But other times the labels don’t provide enough information.


What should a good label look like?

The Root Cause Dictionary provides a definition for Labels Need Improvement. It says that poor labels exhibit the following characteristics (a “Yes” to one of the following questions:

Do no labels exist on components and equipment that must be located, identified, or operated to complete the task(s)?

Are the labels hard to read? That is:

– Not easily read under operations and maintenance conditions.

– Obscured by other equipment.

– Not visible when moving a control.

– Of a color that blends-in with the equipment background.

– Poor contrast between the letters and the label background.

Are the labels unclear or ambiguous? That is:

– Not located close to the items they identify.

– Do not use unique names, acronyms, abbreviations, and part/system numbers created

using a company or industry standard nomenclature.

– Inconsistent with the words used in the procedures.

– Not distinguishable between units in multi-unit plants.

– Discrete functional control posi-tions (on/off) are not identified.

– Direction to move a control for a desired outcome (for example, in-crease/decrease)

is not identified.

The Corrective Action Helper(R) Module of the TapRooT(R) Software takes the guidance above and turns it around to provide recommendations for good labeling practices. It also provides references to help you develop good labels.

One of the references mentioned in is the Functional Naming Guide that is available by clicking here.

Root Cause Analysis
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