Improve forklift safety in the workplace with floor markings that reinforce rules and provide reminders about established best practices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dictates certain rules regarding the use of forklifts in workspaces, and strategic floor markings can help your facility comply with those standards and take your safety strategy a step further. While painting floors can be costly and time-consuming, Superior Mark® floor tape and other products are easy to apply, easy to remove, and are available in a variety of options to help you accommodate nearly any floor-marking need. Consider these strategic ways to use heavy-duty floor marking products, including forklift safety signs, to increase OSHA compliance and minimize pedestrian risk.

Use Floor Tape to Mark Hazards

A key component of forklift safety is minimizing risk by marking hazards. Label areas where forklifts and other vehicles are prohibited and mark hazards that could harm individuals, products, or equipment. 

Alert Forklift Operators of Surfaces With Weight Limits

According to OSHA 1910.22(b), each walking-working surface must support the maximum intended load for that surface—including where forklifts and other heavy-duty vehicles may drive. Use floor tape to clearly identify areas with weight limits to alert drivers that forklifts aren’t allowed, especially when they’re carrying full loads. In these instances, a color-coded system could be helpful: Choose tape colors to coordinate with the maximum weight limit, and pair those markings with custom floor signs that state weight restrictions to label the restricted area. 

Mark Clearance Limits With Floor Tape

Mark safe clearance with floor tape to ensure adequate turning radius, aisle width, or space around corners, through doorways, or at loading docks. OSHA standard 1910.176(a), which outlines requirements for aisles and passageways, stipulates that these paths must be kept in good repair or otherwise marked to avoid unsafe traffic. Temporary floor tape is easy to apply and remove, so it’s ideal for limiting forklift traffic along passageways that are temporarily blocked by obstructions, undergoing facility maintenance, or in need of repair. 

Alert Operators to Edges, Elevation Changes & Low-Hanging Hazards

Use striped or checkerboard hazard tape to draw drivers’ attention to areas that could pose a significant risk if not paying attention, such as along edges, near elevation changes, at loading/unloading docks, or on ramps. Where floors may be wet or slippery, use repeating message tape to encourage operators to slow down and exercise caution. Alert forklift drivers to the presence of low-hanging signage, overhead storage, or other objects that could pose a hazard when considering the vehicle’s height.

Promote Safe Practices for Forklift Parking & Storage 

Outline areas reserved for forklift parking with industrial tape or install heavy-duty floor signs to support your floor plan and established storage strategy. Use pallet markers to label the corners of the parking spot, and add a “forklift parking” floor sign combining text and graphics in the middle to ensure employees know the spot is reserved. A different color or custom signage can indicate areas that are reserved for forklifts in need of maintenance or repair, or storage areas for parts or accessories. Floor signs and tape can also be installed to reinforce proper lockout/tagout procedures where forklifts are stored.

Define Proper Traffic Flow and Encourage Pedestrian Safety

Forklift and pedestrian safety are closely intertwined. A clearly communicated plan for proper traffic flow ensures safety for forklift operators and pedestrians in a warehouse or industrial facility. Use floor tape to mark pedestrian travel zones and motorized traffic areas and clear up confusion about who or what is allowed where.

  • Instruct forklift operators to honk as they approach areas with limited or obstructed visibility—such as at the end of an aisle way—to alert others of their approach. Install repeating message tape or heavy-duty Superior Mark® floor signs to remind operators of this suggested safety practice. 
  • Mark pedestrian or vehicle-only aisles with color-coded or repeating message tape, and add floor markers such as arrows or X-shaped markers to indicate the required paths of travel or directional flow forklifts should follow or places where they are prohibited. 
  • Post speed limit signage at regular intervals to remind forklift operators of the appropriate pace of travel, ensuring safety for pedestrians and operators alike.

Heavy-duty floor markings can improve forklift safety in warehouses, factories, and other industrial spaces. Use a mix of floor tape and signage to properly instruct drivers and pedestrians regarding hazards, protocols, and traffic concerns. Explore our Resource Center to learn more about how floor marking tape can support your safety objectives and minimize risk for employees.

Sources:
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.22
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.176