Visual cues provide instruction, essential warnings, and convey important information to employees or visitors—a must for warehouses and other industrial facilities. The best visual cues create safer, more efficient workplaces and require little to no training to interpret. Visual communication techniques aren’t only convenient, either: Both OSHA compliance and productivity are improved when employees can see and react to reminders. Whether implementing new visual cues or adjusting your current warehouse workflow, explore these ideas for improved visual management systems.

1) Improve Organization with Floor Markings

1910.22(a)(1) – All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working surfaces are kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition.

1910.176(b) – Secure storage. Storage of material shall not create a hazard. Bags, containers, bundles, etc., stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse.

A visual system can improve organization, save space, and help prevent accidents. Whether you choose pallet corner markers, a labeling system for forklift parking assignments, or create a grid to designate container placement, floor marking tape is a durable, versatile tool—and it removes without residue so you can update when workflow or traffic patterns change.        

Designate trash can, cleaning cart, forklift, or materials storage zones with lines—color-coded or with custom text. Providing clear visuals makes it easier to spot the appropriate storage space for putting items away, but also clues you in to missing items or tools at a glance. An empty space is easier to spot when clearly marked.

2) Color Coding for Improved Accountability

1910.144(a) Color identification – Red. Red shall be the basic color for the identification of:

1910.144(a)(1)(i) Fire protection equipment and apparatus. […]

1910.144(a)(1)(ii) Danger. […]

1910.144(a)(1)(iii) Stop. […]

1910.144(a)(3) Yellow. Yellow shall be the basic color for designating caution and for marking physical hazards […][a]

Color is a big player in the world of visual cues: Self-explanatory visuals in predetermined colors communicate in an instant, creating a workspace that allows staff to take control of their own safety. OSHA only designates red and yellow for specific use, but a coordinated color-marking system can improve safety and productivity. Ensure your facility abides by the appropriate color combinations as designated by OSHA or ANSI standards, then implement additional color cues to suit.

Creating an effective color-coded system in the warehouse takes time, testing, and staff feedback, but the right method improves employee accountability and autonomy. Use colored lines and signs to clearly mark workflow, indicate zones, improve product identification, or highlight hazards. No two facilities run exactly the same: Conduct research and consult with employees, supervisors, and industry pros to discover a system that works best for your location.

3) Supplement with Graphics and Text

1910.176(a) – Use of mechanical equipment. Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances shall be allowed for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways and wherever turns or passage must be made.[…]

1910.176(e) – Clearance limits. Clearance signs to warn of clearance limits shall be provided.[b]

Graphics and text improve communication, especially when used in tandem with color cues. We manufacture durable custom tape and floor signs to convey messages that aren’t possible through color alone, such as specified clearance limits. A clearance height or width can be designated in text to supplement any color markings available.

Communication can be improved for non-employees or new staff members not yet trained in the floor marking system. Rather than expecting staff or non-employee visitors to understand that a line marks a walking path, designate footpaths with arrows or footprint markings or text floor signs that state expectations, such as “Check-In This Way” or “Please Keep Right.” It’s an easy-to-understand signal that can help improve traffic flow.

4) Create Traveled Paths with Floor Marking Tape

1910.176(a) (continued) – […]Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard. Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.[c]

Floor marking tape is a key tool for keeping aisles and passageways open and unobstructed. Border lines create a visual so employees know at a glance if there are hazards in the path. Clearly marked aisles encourage employees to keep overflow out of the traveled path which increases safety, helps keep traffic flowing, and eliminates backed up pathways.

Some other ways to improve warehouse traffic flow include:

  • Posting clear traffic patterns
  • Bringing attention to dangerous areas
  • Improving unclear intersections
  • Differentiating between employee and visitor walking paths
  • Designating no-machinery zones

Our heavy-duty floor marking tape withstands forklift traffic, cleaning machines, and chemicals for long-lasting visual cues for product transport areas, footpaths, and more. 

5) Make Safety a Priority

1910.36(g)(4) – Objects that project into the exit route must not reduce the width of the exit route to less than the minimum width requirements for exit routes.[d]

Facility safety depends on sensible organization, easy to access safety stations, and clear visual cues. Not only does a blocked exit hinder safety, but it also leaves your facility at risk of hefty fines for OSHA violations. Using highly visible cues such as floor tape, floor and wall signs, and marking kits help employees keep designated areas unobstructed for better compliance.

Safety extends beyond exits: Maintain workplace safety with prominent visual cues to raise awareness of hazards, and to keep electrical panels and fire extinguishers unobstructed and within easy reach. A first aid kit or eye wash station location requires a clear, carefully marked path and highly visible identification so they’re easy to spot in an emergency. Pre-cut floor marking kits are perfect for highlighting safety equipment, highlighting ‘keep clear’ areas, and designating egress or exits. Improve OSHA compliance with clear floor markings, signage, and lines that communicate expectations.

Boost worksite communication and safety with durable, removable, pre-cut, peel-and-stick kits, including:

  • Eye Wash Stations
  • Electrical Panels
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • First Aid Kits
  • AED Oxygens

Implement visual cues improve safety for employees and visitors. When each individual has precise, easily understood visuals to accompany traffic patterns, labeling systems, or workflow, productivity increases. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, that’s why we offer custom printing options and adaptable solutions. Boost your facility’s safety with solutions designed specifically for your needs.