Reducing accidents in the workplace requires effective risk management to correct obvious safety lapses and improve less evident issues, like swinging doors. Floor signs and tape improve safety in industrial facilities by highlighting risks from slips, trips, falling objects, and other hazards. Unmarked door swings are commonly overlooked and may even seem insignificant, but injuries from collisions and barricaded access points can have serious, even fatal consequences. Visual cues for physical safety, such as door swing floor markings, can address these problematic locations before an accident happens.
Door Swing Requirements
Per OSHA’s Exit Routes and Emergency Planning¹ standard and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) guidelines, door leaves in egress paths should swing in the direction of travel. This allows for more efficient navigation and a faster escape during an emergency.
According to the NFPA, the door must hinge open in the direction of travel² if any of these three conditions exist:
- The door serves a room or area with 50 or more occupants
- The door is used as an exterior exit
- The door opening services an area with fire, explosives, or other high-hazard contents
Another requirement of OSHA’s regulation for exit routes is that they must remain unobstructed. Marking entrances with door swing signs that include “Do Not Block” text helps prevent material handlers or forklift operators from placing a pallet or inventory directly in front of the doorway, and also provides an extra visual reminder of the opening direction to help prevent injuries.
The Consequences of Unmarked Doors
If a swinging door seems too minor a concern to install signage, then let’s consider the consequences of leaving these hazards unmarked. Being hit by an opening door can cause bumps, bruises, or cuts—and imagine how those injuries increase exponentially if employees are carrying heavy objects or hazardous materials. Even if you have measures to improve forklift safety throughout your warehouse, inconspicuous entrances may go unnoticed, resulting in fines, injuries, or accidents if material handlers operate, park, or unload too near a doorway. Clearly marking door swing helps to mitigate risk, improving overall safety.
How to Improve Safety Around Door Swings
You may be tempted to leave the doors open during business hours to eliminate the swinging hazards, but this introduces other safety issues as propped doors can create obstacles or tripping hazards, and leaving thresholds open reduces barriers against fires, chemical exposure, dust, and fumes. Leaving doors propped open may also jeopardize proprietary information or processes.
Whether employees are hyper-focused on getting from point A to B, have their heads down checking their phones, or are simply distracted, collisions can happen. You likely already use visual cues to prevent slips, trips, and falls, so why not mark door openings to reduce other accidents?
Floor Markings for Door Swings
Installing floor marking solutions to prevent workplace injuries helps reduce production delays and costly fines due to accidents. Our door swing floor markings are available in a variety of options and sizes, including a simple outline decal or a full circle sign that marks the entire threshold. We can even work with you to create a custom solution for the most effective visual.
Highly visible graphics and text remind employees which areas are affected by door swing, which allows them to correct course and proceed cautiously. Our floor signs offer a simple, peel-and-stick application process that doesn’t require drying time or special equipment—so there is no extensive downtime or expensive installation process required to make these safety improvements.
Floor Signs and Tape for Corridors
Combining door swing signs with floor markings for pathways and aisles can provide extra notice to direct employees out of harm’s way. Use directional markings in aisles to create pedestrian paths positioned a safe distance away from doorways or other warehouse hazards. This clearance reduces proximity to doors that may swing open—and if employees step off of the passageway, the accompanying door swing sign provides ample reminder of the hazard. Or, cordon off areas near entrances with pre-cut floor tape kits paired with Do Not Block or exit signage as needed to ensure doorways are kept clear and passable.
Industrial floor tape and signs can help improve your existing floor marking strategy by integrating signage to mark hazards caused by door swings and moving parts. For more information about how to reduce accidents in your workplace and improve safety processes, visit our Resource Center.