No matter what type of facility you manage or work in, you will want to make sure your floor markings are properly conveying the information you need them to be. For many facilities, the floor markings are one of the most important forms of communication that takes place since it occurs at all times, and in all areas of the facility.
For such an important aspect of facility communication and safety, it is essential for you to make sure you are following industry best practices. There are many different floor marking best practices to consider. Depending on your specific facilities needs, you will likely want to implement many of these best practices in order to get the most out of your floor marking strategies.
Of course, you may need to make minor adjustments to the way these things are put into place in order to ensure they fit perfectly within your facility. In most cases, however, these floor marking best practices are set up to work well in almost any environment.
Floor marking tape comes in many different colors. This can be extremely beneficial for your facility as long as you make sure that the colors are standardized throughout the facility. If, for example, red floor marking tape means that there is a fire hazard in the area in one part of the facility, it should not be used for any other type of warning in other parts of the facility.
Keeping all the floor marking tape colors standardized throughout the facility will help to prevent confusion, and allow for easier training. If your company has several different facilities, it is a best practice to utilize the same color standards throughout all the facilities, even if they are geographically far away from each other.
Minimize the Number of Colors
Since there are so many colors available to choose from, many facilities make the mistake of getting as many different colors as possible and using them to indicate all sorts of different things in the facility. While this may seem like a good idea at first, it will actually lead to confusion.
You want to keep the number of colors of your floor marking tape to a minimum so it is easy for everyone to remember what each color means. There is no specific number of colors that facilities should use, but keeping it to as few as possible will help to maximize the effectiveness of the tape in your facility.
Choosing Floor Marking Tape Colors
The floor marking best practices doesn’t specify exactly what color tape should be used in your facility. The best practices, however, do say that tape colors should be chosen to ensure they are easy to see for everyone in the facility. This can help to give some guidelines when making your floor marking tape purchases.
For example, you don’t want to purchase black tape if you will be applying it to a dark colored floor. On the other hand, putting tape that is bright or even reflective in an area that doesn’t have much lighting makes a lot of sense.
Following other Visual Hazard Communication Standards
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the colors or styles of floor markings in your facility is what types of visual hazard communication or safety standards you already have in place. For example, if you have safety signs that warn of falling objects in the facility, and they are made with black letters on a yellow background, you may want to copy that format for the floor markings.
You can purchase a yellow and black striped floor marking tape, and put it down in areas where there is a risk of falling objects. Consider all the different types of markings you have in your facility, and make sure to match the floor markings with them whenever possible.
On the other hand, however, you also want to make sure you are not using similar colors or patterns on the floor if they don’t have a similar meaning in other areas. If you have white signs that warn of a particular hazard, don’t use white tape to simply indicate a normal walking area.
Plan your Floor Markings
One big problem that many facilities have is that they begin implementing their floor marking strategy without having it fully planned out. One part of the facility will start putting down the floor markings that they need, and then another area will start their piece of the project. This can end up causing a lot of problems.
Even if they all use the same color strategy, it can still cause many discrepancies. For example, they may order different sizes of floor marking tape. They may also put the tape down differently. One area might use a solid line of tape, for example, and another might put down a ‘dotted’ line of tape.
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This is why it is so important to have one person or group in charge of planning and implementing all of the floor marking best practices in the facility. Before any type of marking is done, the plan for the whole facility should be in place. This will help to ensure a uniform look and feel, and will also help to ensure the whole facility is following the exact same best practices.
Get Input from all Areas
While having one person or group in charge of the actual planning and implementation of all floor marking best practices, they should not try to do this without input from the various parts of the facility. It is essential to gather together the needs of all the areas of the facility in order to make the floor markings as helpful as possible.
Having managers from throughout the facility work with the floor marking standards team will help make sure everyone gets the type of markings that they need, while staying in conformity with the rest of the facility. This will also help to keep the team that is responsible for the actual floor markings from assuming they know what will work best throughout the facility, without actually getting the input from the various departments.
Take steps to keep markings Visible
One big problem many facilities face is that even if they follow all the floor marking best practices regarding how the markings should be placed, they will end up getting covered up or damaged. You need to make sure that in addition to planning for the initial application of these markings, you also plan for how to keep them visible.
The following are some important issues to create standards for, which will help to ensure everyone will be able to see and benefit from the floor markings at all times:
Cleaning – Your janitorial or maintenance team needs to know how to properly clean all types of floor markings. Floor marking tape, for example, can be washed along with the rest of the floor to prevent any dust, dirt, grease or other things from covering it up.
Covering – People may be tempted to park facility vehicles on, or place boxes or other items on floor markings. Even if it is not intentional, it happens quite often in many facilities. Setting up procedures for avoiding this, and reporting it when this does happen, can help to ensure people can always see the floor markings.
Repairs – While floor marking tape can last for years without problems, they can occasionally get ripped or torn. When this happens, it is important to remove the damaged area and put down new floor markings.
Coming up with any other necessary procedures to ensure your floor markings are easy to see will help prevent a lot of problems, and allow your facility to benefit from following the floor marking best practices.
Provide Detailed Training
When implementing these and any other floor marking best practices, you need to make sure you are providing detailed training to everyone in the facility. This can be done in large groups or on an individual basis by the supervisors and managers in the facility.
No matter how you decide you want to provide the training, it is essential that you take the time to get everyone up to speed on what all the floor markings mean, and what types of responses they should take when they see them.
Keep in mind that no matter how much thought and effort is put into your floor markings, they won’t do any good if people don’t know what it all means. Providing color guides and other informative information to the employees so they can memorize all the important information will help turn these best practices into realities for your facility.
Following Best Practices
When you follow these best practices in your facility, you will find that the floor marking systems in place will have the desired effect. In most cases this will mean improved hazard communication, and improved overall facility safety.
This, of course, is extremely important for all facilities no matter what types of activities are taking place in them. So, with that in mind, make sure you take these practices into account when implementing any type of floor marking program in your facility.