Superior Mark® Floor Marking Tape is a key tool in keeping staff and visitors safe in warehouses and industrial facilities. OSHA requires that pedestrian walkways and aisles are clearly marked, but doesn’t specify what material to use. Floor paint chips and wears away, making important visual cues difficult to decipher. Rather than relying on painted lines for directional instructions, floor marking tape is an easy-to-apply option that withstands heavy foot and forklift traffic and removes without hassle when traffic flow changes. Manage pedestrian traffic flow and improve safety and navigation in your warehouse or industrial facility using these floor marking tape tips and suggestions.
1) Make Emergency Notices Stand Out
For safety messages to be effective, they must be visible. Between OSHA and ANSI, a variety of pre-set color standards aim to improve visual communication to create safer workplaces. Specific colors are reserved to communicate fire risk and safety equipment (red) and physical risks such as trip or fall hazards (yellow), and additional color cues may be designated as the need arises.
Highly visible floor markings are important in accident prevention. From designating safety zones for visitors to highlighting hazards in work areas, floor marking tape and signage works as part of a cohesive visual communication strategy. Whether you designate a safety zone area for visitors or create a system of labeling hazards for employees on the work floor, emergency notices must be easily seen and understood at a glance.
2) Pair Text and Graphics to Keep Traffic Flowing
Clearly marked traffic routes help reduce back-up and improve traffic flow. Designating one-way traffic or creating directional lanes keeps everything moving at a reasonable pace and makes wayfinding easier. Designating traffic flow requires more than colors: Colored lines and signs paired with bold, easy to read text and simple graphics provide clear instructions for pedestrians and other traffic.
Specific sign shapes and symbols—for example, Yield, Do Not Enter, One Way, and Stop—are easily recognized in any context. A single line of red floor tape is difficult to decipher, but floor tape with the word “Stop” and a stop sign graphic makes the meaning clear. Similarly, a black arrow may provide general traffic flow information, but it may not be clear that a lane is one-way-only without additional information.
Footprints are common visual cues, but you can add value by making them say more. Pair footprints with taped lines that include custom text stating the path’s final destination or pedestrian traffic restrictions such as one-way or staff only. Color-coded footprints or arrows—for example, green to the elevators, purple to the main office, or white to the customer pick-up area—make giving directions is as easy as telling visitors which color to follow.
3) Separate Pedestrian and Machinery Traffic
Keeping staff and visitors safe also means reducing the likelihood of accidents. One way to accomplish this is to separate vehicle and pedestrian walkways to minimize staff and machinery accidents. When a physical barrier isn’t possible, clearly marking lanes for forklifts, trucks, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), and pedestrian-only lanes reduces risk.
Along with designated lanes, clear markings must be used where traffic crosses. Labeling right of way, no foot traffic, no vehicles, or reminding staff to stop and look before proceeding improves safety where foot and vehicular traffic meet. Keep non-essential staff out of dangerous areas with clearly marked “Do Not Enter” or “Authorized Personnel Only” repeating message floor tape to limit foot traffic to designated employees only.
Keeping loading docks and other busy areas safe requires considerations for foot traffic, as well. Forklift traffic isn’t limited to forward and back. Consider tail end swing, stopping distance, driver blind spots, and what areas may be in danger if the load tips when labeling pedestrian areas. Limit visitor access to improve pedestrian safety in warehouses and industrial facilities and mark traveled lanes clearly where pedestrians and vehicles must share space.
4) Effective Warehouse Traffic Management is Fluid
Industrial floor marking tape is an ideal traffic management tool because it can be removed and adjusted as traffic needs change. The ability to change warehouse lines ensures you can make updates easily—without closing down for days to scrape, prep, and paint—whether you’re designating boundaries in temporary work cells, placing pallet markers, creating aisles, easing traffic congestion in warehouses, or marking traffic lanes for foot or machine traffic.
Ask management and line workers for feedback on traffic management procedures. Monitor traffic flow throughout the year—during busy seasons, slow seasons, annually, or any time there’s an accident or traffic-related incident—to see where there is room for improvement. Floor tape lines and graphics are easy to adjust or repair as needed.
Superior Mark® Floor Marking Tape is backed with a pressure-sensitive adhesive that sticks firmly and resists damage while it’s needed but peels away without leaving residue behind when needs change. When updating traffic flow or work areas, make staff aware of the changes and remain consistent in your labeling procedures. When you change your markings, ensure you stick to your established text, graphic, and color standards—or implement new training right away to ensure staff is aware of the updates.
5) Regular, Continued Training is Key
The best warehouse floor markings aren’t going to be effective without proper training. Text and graphics help visitors understand safety procedures and traffic flow at a glance, but day-to-day operations require additional knowledge. Provide consistent, in-depth training for regular employees and temporary hires: Essential training periods include orientation and annual training. Additionally, ensure everyone is up to speed by re-training when floor markings, traffic flow, or procedures change.
Clear visual instructions are important for managing foot traffic in industrial facilities and warehouse locations. OSHA and ANSI standards provide safety regulations, and Superior Mark® Floor Marking Tape helps staff comply with these mandates. Improve employee safety when you manage and direct foot traffic flow with color, text, and graphics. Contact a floor marking specialist at 1-866-284-1541 to find the best options for your facility, or see more in our Resource Center.