Signage is an essential component of any workplace safety plan that is used for everything from indicating traffic flow to alerting employees of potential hazards. No type of safety signage is inherently more important than the other, but the best safety signs have several things in common: They are clear, easily identifiable, and help your workplace comply with regulations set by OSHA, ANSI, or another governing body. If you have to prioritize, which safety sign should you post first? While they are all incredibly important and you should ensure your location complies with safety standards, we’ve ranked our top 5 safety floor markings for warehouses, industrial facilities, and public areas.
5. Traffic Control
Without traffic signs, driving and walking would be extremely hazardous, and the same is true for workplaces with forklifts or other vehicles. In these instances, traffic control floor signs can be used to provide essential navigational and safety cues to pedestrians and equipment operators alike. But signage can also be used to improve safety even when vehicles are not in use by encouraging caution in parking and storage areas.
Warehouse Traffic Control Floor Sign Checklist
Visual cues can reinforce forklift safety requirements and indicate where pedestrians or equipment are or are not allowed. Evaluate the following areas in your warehouse or industrial facility and ensure that they’re visibly identified with floor or other signage to increase forklift safety.
- Aisles and Passageways – OSHA-compliant markings indicate where fork trucks are and aren’t allowed
- Parking and Storage Areas – Floor tape and pre-cut floor signs create order and organization
- Maintenance Areas – Hazard or repeating message floor tape alerts employees that equipment requires repair and should not be used
- Speed Regulations – Posted speed limits and caution reminders increase operator awareness of conditions in the warehouse
- Pedestrian Safety – Floor signs indicate pedestrian- or forklift-only aisles or define lanes reserved for a specific use
- Hazards – Floor tape indicates ramps, edges, corners, objects, and fixtures that forklift operators should avoid
4. Eyewash Stations
Eyewash stations serve as an essential safety feature in workplaces that use toxic chemicals or have flying dust or debris. OSHA offers many regulations dealing with toxic chemicals, with several specific eyewash station clearance requirements and other important guidelines.¹ However, for our purposes, it’s most important to pay attention to requirements from ANSI (American National Standard Institute) regarding how eyewash stations should be identified and labeled.
OSHA & ANSI Eyewash Station Requirement Checklist
According to OSHA and ANSI requirements, eyewash locations should be clearly, visibly identified for easy recognition. Additionally, the area in front must be kept clear so that the safety device can be accessed quickly during an emergency. Eyewash station signage is an easy way to adhere to and remind staff of these requirements. Use our checklist to spot-check compliance.
- Clearance Area – OSHA-required boundaries marked with floor tape or a pre-measured eyewash station kit
- Location – Location of eyewash station identified with a highly visible sign featuring the universal symbol of an eye above running water and a first aid cross
- Directional (Optional) – Quickest path to eyewash station outlined with directional floor signage
- Color – Floor signage and tape incorporates green or blue to meet color standards set out by ASNI
3. Electrical Panel Clearance
Properly marking electrical panels is important for more than just complying to OSHA, ANSI, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) requirements; it also improves overall safety for everyone in your building. The space in front of electrical equipment needs to be kept clear, OSHA says²—and practical visual cues can not only define boundaries of these clearance areas but also alert employees to electrical hazards, make them aware of high voltage areas, and help enforce lockout/tagout standards.
Electrical Signage Requirements
Consider the following types of visual cues required for electrical panels to see which apply for your needs.
- High Voltage Markings – Systems over 600 volts labeled with clear signage
- Lockout/Tagout Standards – Provide signage warning of electrical hazards when equipment is on, in operation, or if opened
- Safety Signs and Tags – Electrical equipment labeled with descriptive markings to warn and protect employees from hazards
- Clearance Area – Boundaries of required clearance areas for electrical panels defined by a pre-cut electrical panel kit or floor tape
2. Fire Extinguishers
While there are several standards regarding the presence of fire extinguishers in the workplace, there are minimal regulations regarding what type of signage should be used: OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) require that fire extinguishers are readily accessible to employees, that the area in front of the apparatus be kept clear, and that its location be marked conspicuously. The right fire extinguisher floor signage can help accomplish all these goals.
Fire Extinguisher Floor Sign Checklist
The last thing you want in a fire emergency is a delay in locating an extinguisher. Follow this checklist to ensure your fire extinguisher signage meets OSHA and NFPA standards.
- Identification – Location of fire extinguisher clearly labeled and visible from path of travel
- Clearance Area – Boundaries of area to be kept clear marked with floor tape
- Color – All signage incorporates color red to meet NFPA and OSHA standards
1. Exit Routes
Exit routes are one of the most important regulations set out by OSHA, as they contribute greatly to safety in the event of an emergency. OSHA has an entire group of regulations devoted to exit routes and emergency planning, including that employers clearly must mark routes for evacuating the workplace during an emergency.³
Emergency Exit Signage Checklist
Floor tape and signage can work together with wall-mounted options to clearly and effectively identify exit routes and doors for employees.
- Exit Points – Mark each exit door clearly with a sign reading “EXIT”
- Exit Route – Path of travel marked with OSHA-compliant exit floor signs, including directional arrow floor markers and floor tape
- Clearance Areas – Keep-clear areas labeled with repeating message tape and other floor marking signs
- Non-Exit Doors – Doors that do not lead to an exit labeled using clear, simple language (“not an exit”) or their actual use (ie., basement, maintenance, closet)
- Assembly Points – Assembly points past the exit discharge area clearly labeled with durable floor signs or tape
- Route Obstructions – Obstacles or obstructions along the exit route identified or outlined with floor tape
All safety markings are by definition important, but effective floor signs make the workplace more secure, whether you’re encountering an unexpected emergency or looking to improve the security of workers on a day-to-day basis. Stop-Painting.com offers an assortment of safety-focused floor signs, marking tape, and kits to enhance the compliance of your warehouse or industrial facility. For more on industrial safety in the workplace, explore our Resource Center.
1. OSHA regulation 1910.1450. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.1450
2. OSHA regulation 1910.303. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.303
3. OSHA regulation 1910, Subpart E. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910SubpartEApp