Floor marking is imperative in any industrial environment. The risk of injury due to unmarked floors still remains one of the top OSHA violations. Good floor marking is important because it informs employees and visitors about different safe and unsafe areas within the work place. In order to make floor marking as beneficial as possible, there are certain floor marking colors and guidelines used to indicate specific hazards or to convey certain messages.
Floor Marking Colors
The use of floor marking really helps to create a safer, more visual workplace for all. OSHA does not mandate the usage of all colors for floor marking; in fact, OSHA only mandates the colors of red and yellow. However, there is a set color code recommendation in place derived from ANSI (American National Standards Institute). Below is the recommended floor marking color code as suggested by ANSI.
- Red – Red indicates danger or to stop. Red is one of the two colors mandated by OSHA. The color red can often be seen on stop signs and near fire protection equipment.
- Yellow – Yellow means caution. Yellow is the other color mandated by OSHA. Common places to see yellow include in aisles, walkways, and in areas that include trip hazards.
- Orange – This color means warning or energized equipment. When this color of floor marking tape is used, employees should exercise attention as there is energized equipment or products being inspected.
- Green – Green usually indicates a safe zone. This color is often seen around first-aid stations, showers, or raw materials.
- Blue – This color usually serves as meaning informational. Common locations for this color tape are near informational signage or works in progress.
- Stripes – Striped tape often includes the usage of two contrasting colors which bring attention to special hazards. Hazards may include health risks.
Floor Marking Guidelines
In addition to the use of color to convey a message, there are also some other guidelines which should be followed to ensure utmost safety. OSHA provides specific recommendations when it comes to marking aisles and walkways; they suggest using “sufficient safe clearances.” When determining a safe aisle width it is important to take into consideration the types of traffic that will utilize the aisle, will it just be people or will it include forklifts as well? A common aisle width recommendation is at least 36 inches. Floor marking tape should be used to mark these aisles and the minimum width that should be used as recommended by OSHA is 2 inches. However, floor marking tape is often available in a variety of different sizes from 2 inches wide to 6 or more inches wide. Nonetheless, the most common sizes of aisle marking tape are between 2 and 6 inches. When tape becomes wider than 6 inches it is often difficult to apply.
Marking floors is a practical and efficient way to help ensure further safety within any industrial work environment. There are many helpful guidelines in place to help create cohesiveness for all businesses. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the guidelines of floor marking so you can create a more visual work environment for everyone.
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