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Floor marking tape is an indispensable visual communication tool for warehouses and manufacturing floors—and a range of non-industrial locations as well. But, to get the most out of your floor tape application, ensure you’re applying and caring for it properly. These are the top 5 most important rules for using floor marking tape in any facility.

1) Test Your Tape Ahead of Time

To be sure your tape will withstand the activity in its intended location, request a Free Sample Box to test different tape varieties to see how they hold up to forklift traffic, weather conditions, regular scuffing from carts or machinery, and more. When you test your floor tape, you should push the application beyond everyday wear and tear to get an idea of exactly what the tape can tolerate. An accelerated wear test lets you see exactly how much your industrial floor marking tape application can withstand so you’re able to plan ahead: Knowing what damage to expect ahead of time allows you to prepare for floor tape repair and re-application.

2) Ensure a Proper Application

Always follow the floor tape application instructions for a secure, long-lasting stick. Generally, floors must be cleaned well before tape application to ensure no dirt or debris gets between the floor and the adhesive—this can reduce application quality and cause the tape to fail prematurely. After you apply the tape, properly tamp the application to activate the adhesive. Floor marking equipment can be used to both lay lines—straight, dashed, or even curved—and is also heavy enough to tamp the tape to ensure a long-lasting application.

Superior Mark® features a patented beveled edge that sends forklift traffic, pallets, wheeled carts, and more up and over the application, which prevents scraping and other damage—but considering application location can help reduce specific types of damage for a longer-lasting stick. 

3) Stick to OSHA Requirements

OSHA and ANSI provide some floor marking regulations that aim to improve marking visibility, sitewide communication, and employee and visitor safety. While there are some specific requirements regarding marking thickness and color, some decisions are left to the facility. The top OSHA and ANSI requirements include:

  • Aisles must be marked clearly with lines that are at least two inches wide—and up to six inches wide—for visibility. The aisles themselves must be three feet wider than the largest equipment that is used in the area, with a minimum of four feet wide.
  • OSHA reserves the color red for fire hazards, fire safety equipment, and emergency, yellow for caution, orange for warnings, and requires that letters and symbols provide enough contrast against the background for easy visibility.
  • ANSI offers additional recommendations that, while not required by law, help create easy-to-understand visual instructions. These suggested color cues include green for health and safety and blue for notices and information unrelated to hazards and warnings.

Some floor marking policies are left up to the individual facilities, including the specific color standards and messaging methods. In addition to ANSI and OSHA standards, 5S and Lean methodologies offer color cue and text recommendations for a safer, more streamlined facility. When planning your floor markings, consider OSHA and ANSI standards and facility needs ahead of time, then apply floor markings that comply with these requirements.

4) Remain Consistent Across Departments

For a cohesive communication strategy, each department should use the same color standards, messaging requirements, and visual cue methods. If important safety signage suddenly changes from yellow to green, it may be difficult for an employee to adjust if they swap into another area to assist temporarily, or for visitors who are trying to navigate an unfamiliar place. Visual communication helps improve reaction time, but only if the cues are logical and consistent. Swapping between colors and messages can delay reaction time and reduce the effectiveness of floor markings or other signage.

There may be good reasons for changing the color scheme. For example, a purple line could lead to one location, and a green line to another. In this case, all directional cues within the final destination would be best recognized if they mirror the initial navigational lines. To ensure all floor markings are easy to understand, include text and graphics to share specific information.

5) Training is Key

Tape is not a stick-it-and-forget-it tool: While floor marking tape provides clear instructions and important messages, you must still train employees regarding what the markings mean. Provide information about the facility color standards and what messages mean to support a facility-wide safety culture. Get feedback from management and employees about what works and retrain employees as necessary. Similarly, seek areas where the visual cues may fall short, and adjust floor markings that aren’t meeting your needs.

Training goes beyond explaining the meaning behind the tape and signage. Encourage employees to follow best practices to avoid unnecessary damage to floor markings. For the longest-lasting application, encourage forklift drivers to lift pallets and avoid turning or spinning wheels directly on the tape. While our floor markings are durable enough to withstand these scenarios, tape application can last even longer if drivers follow those steps.

Floor marking tape can improve visual communication within industrial locations, including warehouses and manufacturing facilities. These five rules help create easily understood messages and extend the life of floor markings. For more floor marking tips and tricks, explore our Resource Center.