Floor markings are a great option for improving the safety of a facility. When planning to use floor markings, however, it is important to think things through in order to get the best results. There are a number of questions that need to be asked and answered before any action is taken, or these efforts may actually cause more harm than good.
What Type of Floor Marking Should be Used?
When considering floor markings for floor safety, there are two main options to consider. The first, and most popular option for most types of facilities, is going to be floor marking tape. There are many different types available depending on the specific needs of a facility. Anti-slip tape, glow-in-the-dark tape, reflective tape, and others are all available for use. You can even get pre-cut shapes made from floor marking tape to help make the whole process easier.
The other option is floor marking paint. Paint can be applied easily in most environments, though it does need time to dry completely. Paint can be applied using simple roller tool, stencils, or a machine depending on the environment.
What are the OSHA Requirements?
Anytime you are attempting to improve facility safety, it is necessary to consider what governmental regulations are going to apply. In most cases, this means looking at the standards put forth by OSHA. Floor markings are addressed by OSHA in their standard on materials and storage, which falls under 29 CFR 1910.176.
In this set of standards, you'll learn that OSHA specifies that floor markings lines have to be a minimum of 2" wide, which is essential for visibility. They can be wider, and OSHA even states that 2-6'' in width is ideal. The OSHA standards are typically going to be quite easy to follow, but if they aren't understood ahead of time, it could become necessary to remove and replace the markings in order to comply.
Can Floor Markings Identify Hazards?
In addition to using floor markings to help guide people through a facility safely, it is also possible to use markings to identify specific hazards that should be avoided. Applying floor marking tape around a particularly dangerous machine, near places where falling objects may occur, or any other hazard, is a great form of visual communication.
The tape around these areas should be colored or patterned in a unique way so that everyone can immediately recognize what the markings mean. In this image, black and yellow patterened markings are used to identify a gap in the floor where a moving machine works. Those working in the area will be able to identify the risk as they approach, and make sure to stay away from the danger.
Are You Planning for Consistency?
One of the most important things that you can do when planning floor markings for facility safety is ensure that the same standards are used throughout the company. This is most important when applying floor markings within one facility since employees will often have to work in many areas in the building.
It will also apply for companies that have multiple facilities in different areas. Some businesses, for example, have a manufacturing building and then a warehouse. Making sure the same strategies are used in both locations will help to avoid confusion and ensure the best results for improved safety.