According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are requirements which help enforce workplace safety by protecting employees from various hazards. Aisles usually delineate areas of high foot traffic. They are also very important escape routes when there is an incident. With the regulations in place, there is a guarantee that there will not be a loss of lives, at least. The requirements help by keeping the aisles free from any kind of obstruction. Employers are also required to mark them all adequately.
There are some other factors to consider.
Cleanliness – this is a measure that ensures there is safe walking space. With the OSHA requirements of clean floors, all floors should be free from holes, splinters, nails or loose boards on the ground. This is a rule that is inclusive of passageways floors and aisles included.
Clearance- the requirements of OSHA states that the aisles must to be free from any obstruction. There should also be safe clearance enabling people to easily exit the places even in cases of emergency evacuations.
Marking – the markings of aisles have to be permanent and the same applies to passageways. The passageways also have to have the relevant markings showing or indicating the location of aisle space.
Industrial width – there are specific aisle requirements which are set for industrial aisles. This is in terms of width and they should be 4 feet at least and 3-feet wider than largest available equipment passing through them.
Industrial marking – aisles in industrial locations must have markings in line form defining the aisles space. These lines can be any clearly visible color between 2 and 6 inches in width. It is not a must that employers use continuous lines in this area, dotted lines can also be used or even strip lines. The only requirement is that they be visible.
Rails and Covers – there is a requirement that guardrails be near pits, vats, tanks, ditches and any other similar hazard. This therefore includes aisles.
Grocery warehousing – aisles in these locations need to be large enough in width so that employees can carry items safely off the shelves. Some employees may try to take other alternative routes in a bid to avoid the congestion. However, heavy loads pose a high health risk to the employees such as back problems. This is why aisle marking should be larger or wider in high traffic areas.
Holes and Wall & floor openings – by the regulations, any kind of openings whether it is wall opening in aisles leading to more than 4 feet drop must have a rail, roller, picket fence or half door and any other similar barrier. They should also make sure manhole covers cover any and all unattended manholes. There should also be hinged floor coverings on hatchways and chutes, railings near stairway floor openings, floor covers over any trap door opening, and attendants close to temporary openings.