Our online Interactive Organization Map features a fun and visual guide to getting your workplace, office or facility visually organized. This interactive guide helps our customers and website visitors to instantly view areas where they need more or better visual cues with links to products that can offer solutions.
On this new interactive map, one can see exactly where and how visual cues are used in a sample warehouse work area. You can hover your mouse over the map and a visual cue you’re interested in – and click on the link. From pallet markers, to safety signs to exit signs, the map shows exactly how a product can be used and has links to product pages that offer easy and efficient shopping.
Below the map, readers can see quick links to our free sample packs, contact information to reach us vial email or by phone and a sign-up page to get in the loop with 5S and Lean visual cue solutions via our newsletters.
Use products and tools that enable you to be flexible
The bottom line is this: We want our company and our website to be informative and offer real solutions to companies trying to implement Lean and 5S, or just a better plan to be more productive and safer. Our floor tape products offer real these solutions. Painting lines on an industrial work floor is time consuming, costly and does not offer easy “re-dos” when a workflow changes due to continuous improvement.
Most painted lines are meant to contribute to safety and productivity in a plant. If you’re just beginning to do this at your work site, your initial thoughts on the best placement of the floor markings may change after they get “real-world” use. Where you think you most need a pedestrian pathway may change after you witness a few near-misses between people and forklifts. Adding another floor tape pathway is much easier than painting one.
Once you have a visually organized workplace, productivity will increase. You may find you need another piece of machinery to keep up with demand. When you add a new piece to the workflow, pulling ups floor tape and reapplying to align with the new visual cue needs is easy and fast. Removing painted lines and re-painting is costly and can take up to three days – with production shut down.
Look for solutions to your problems – continuously
Rather than get your worksite visually organized by checking off things you find in a handbook or info-guide, we suggest you physically walk through your work area and see where visual cues are needed. Sure, it’s important to be informed of options and best practices and make sure you’re being OSHA compliant, but we advise clients to add visual instructive devices that directly speak to your employees. Do employees tend to block the rear exit door with pallets? Put in a “Don’t Block Door” sign with egress floor markings. Designate a spot for stacking pallets with pallet markers.
Do employees keep wandering into the fork-lift pathways because they don’t understand the cue? Use our Superior Mark footstep floor markers to illustrate where employees are supposed to walk in high-traffic areas.
Do fork-lifts keep scraping up your pathway floor tape? Think about opening up the floor tape pathways with gaps for the skids to slide over.
Following a guidebook written by someone who’s never stepped foot in your facility is not going to lead you to the best visual cue solutions. Know the theories of Lean and 5S; learn about the philosophy and tools to use and apply these practices and tailor them to your worksite so YOU can create the best visual organization system for your workplace.
Go Beyond Color Coded Floor Tape
One thing you’ll see in many floor marking manuals is color-coded charts. Red means stop; black and yellow means hazard ahead; yellow lines mean don’t walk here. While some of these color codes are universal, most new employees walking into a new work place will not know what some of the colors and lines mean. Temporary employees are the most likely to be injured on the job. The Department of Labor released a study in 2010 that found 76 percent of temporary employees injured on the job said they did not fully understand safety information that had been given to them orally or visually when starting their job.
One way you can ensure temporary employees, as well as permanent employees, better understand safety visual cues is to add a clear message to the markings. Instead of surrounding a pathway with yellow and black tape (signifying danger, do not go this way), we recommend you print on the tape – FORKLIFT PATH ONLY NO PEDESTRIANS. Include a graphic of a forklift on the tape. Clearly communicating your messages beyond just using a color can save lives and keep productivity high.
Think Outside the Box
The overall theme to all these tips is to think outside the box and look for solutions that work for you. Yes, there are some mandated regulations that exist to keep employees and the public safe, but there are typically many ways a business can improve productivity and safety while staying compliant. We constrict our ability to create the best visual cues by going by “standards” that have no real value.
For instance, in the U.S., one of the most repainted cues on a road is the arrow in right turn lanes. Cars brake on top of it and take off on it, constantly. This causes wear and the need to repaint it, constantly. The same road cues in Europe have been redesigned to be longer and skinnier, allowing car tires to brake and roll without touching the arrow, thus allowing the arrow to be visible longer, reducing the need to repaint as frequently. This is a good example of finding a solution and continuously seeking improvement. Both arrows sufficiently instruct drivers and convey the same visual message. However the European cue has been improved and requires less maintenance – a solution for saving money.
If you’re looking for solutions to help your business be more productive and safe, let us help you choose tools that can create a visually organized workplace using Lean and 5S practices. Check out our website and let our newly designed homepage and its interactive features direct you to new solutions.
What’s your Plan?
What is your plan for getting organized in 2018? Are you using 5S or Lean practices? Want more information on how to get visually organized? Need some fresh ideas for Continuous Improvement? Here’s how we can help:
- Check out our Resource Center here, which is full of informational and educational articles about visual organization, 5S, components of Lean and more.
- Sign up for our newsletters and emails which always contain valuable information about visual organization, continuous improvement, Lean, 5S and employee safety products.
- Check out our products and give us a call. Our Expert staff can help you find more than just a product – we can help you find SOLUTIONS.