These are times of scrutiny for power utility companies across North America. Rising electricity rates and the resulting political fallout mean more attention is on electric utility companies today than most industry veterans can remember. Utility marketing departments are spending more and more time, energy, and resources working to improve brand perception within the area they serve. How your brand is perceived by rate payers is top-of-mind not only for electric utilities but for telecommunication companies railroads, and oil & gas companies.
Safety and hazard communication plays an important and underrated role in brand perception. While commitment to safety is (and should be) the most important aspect in any of our day to day job functions, there is an often overlooked aspect of hazard communication, one that we may be looking at everyday, without taking proper notice.
The majority of safety decals installed by electric utility are on ‘public facing’ equipment and property. Substation fences, padmount transformers, switchgear, vaults, pedestals and cabinets all are required to have hazard markers. It is often said that DANGER and HAZARD signs and labels are simply there to warn the public about the dangers and consequences of improper contact with utility equipment. True, but they can also convey important brand perception messages. Properly worded warnings about the potential dangers of electrical equipment, are vital to your companies commitment to safety. The signs, labels and tags should be read easily, with clear and impactful information. But too often, this vital information has faded away due to the damaging effects of UV, weather, and poorly suited materials and inks.
Faded labels and signs should be a thing of the past. Not only does it conflict with your commitment to safety, but faded markers make your equipment look old and unreliable. This adversely affects your brand.
Our customers need power infrastructure to function properly regardless of the elements. This is also true of the labeling, identification, and hazard signage affixed to this equipment. Global climate trends are changing. Utility marking now, more than ever, demands only the most UV stable inks, the best adhesives, and the longest lasting materials available.
The expense of label installation along with the consequences of a faded or illegible label (injury, loss of life, legal cost and reputation) is far greater than the cost of the label itself. Invest in a durable solution on that will protect the community and you financially.
You can combine multiple-hazard messages onto one, clear concise label. It is also worth considering multi-language messages. Changes in demographics across the country may mean changing the way you communicate to your customers. It’s important that the language(s) on your signs reflect the demographic you’re serving. Consider using bilingual signs. Multilingual messaging enables you to alert and connect with larger groups in your community.
Regional Sales Manager – Canada
Almetek Industries Inc.