Floor marking tape is a top choice for creating safety lanes in industrial facilities, warehouses, and workshops: It’s durable, easy to apply, easy to remove, and comes in a wide range of colors to suit a variety of needs. Marking safety lanes with Superior Mark® Floor Marking Tape is faster and more durable than painting. Why mark safety lanes in workshops in the first place, and how does tape help? Here, we explore six benefits of using floor tape to create a visual workplace.
1) Create Traffic Flow for Less Congestion
Separating pedestrian and forklift traffic, and forklift and heavy machinery traffic can prevent accidents and keep everything moving smoothly. Not only does this save time, but it also helps prevent warehouse traffic-related injuries. With carefully marked, permanent, dedicated lanes for each, you can reduce confusion, so everyone can find their way quickly and easily. Well-marked travel lanes also prevent temporary hires, new employees, and visitors from wandering into unauthorized areas—and protect them from oncoming traffic. Where physical safety barriers are difficult or impossible, floor marking tape can provide visible reminders of traveled lanes, and who should be in each.
Similarly, improve safety in traveled areas by:
- Marking right-of-way rules
- Listing speed restrictions
- Labeling one-way traffic flow
- Designating no-vehicle or no-pedestrian zones
- Reserving pathways for handcarts, dollies, pallet jacks, or platform hand trucks
- Limiting foot traffic to essential staff
2) Reduce the Risk of Forklift Damage
Clearly marked safety lanes prevent accidents between forklifts and people, but also help mitigate hazards. With well-marked lanes, forklift operators can easily determine if a traveled pathway is wide enough to accommodate forklifts and other vehicles—and the loads they carry. Forklift operators can see, at a glance, if equipment will fit at any point along the path so shelving units aren’t jostled, machinery doesn’t get stuck, and time isn’t wasted. Additionally, with measured safety lines laid, there’s a visual reminder to all staff to keep the lane cleared, no pallets, boxes, or tools may cross the line.
3) OSHA Mandates Specific Floor Markings
Floor tape can improve compliance with a variety of OSHA regulations for warehouses and industrial facilities. While there’s no requirement for using heavy-duty vinyl floor tape, specifically, OSHA mandates a variety of floor markings, requires that lines should be at least two inches wide for visibility, and provides a few color use guidelines for industrial facilities: Red for immediate, life-threatening hazards and fire protection, yellow for caution and to warn of physical hazards.
Floor tape can designate forklift traffic can keep pedestrians—both employees and visitors—out of the way of machinery traffic, but can also convey visual messages. OSHA specifies that aisles should be at least 3 feet wider than the largest equipment used in the aisle. Additionally, a minimum width of 18 inches is required for maintenance access to walkways and equipment. Floor markings can be used to maintain unobstructed access to these lanes—a visual cue that nothing should cross into the marked lanes.
4) Visual Cues Improve Communication
Marking safety lanes ensures workers and visitors can see traveled lanes at a glance, get additional information from custom-printed messages and graphics, and react to warnings quickly and easily. Provide reminders that traveled lanes and specific areas must remain clear of clutter and debris; no blocking emergency exits, safety equipment, first aid stations, or fire extinguishers.
Color-coded vinyl floor marking tape paired with text and graphics clearly conveys necessary messaging regarding safety protocol, workflows, directional cues, policies, and restrictions. Colored lines can represent specific directional cues, a taped outline provides visual separation of work stations and traveled lanes. Create a visual communication process that works for your facility, remain consistent in marking safety lanes, work stations, and floors, and offer regular staff training and orientation to reinforce the strategy.
5) Preventing Falls and Marking Trip Hazards
From a two-inch height change to a ramp edge, marking safety lanes and edges makes them more visible and communicates danger, which can help prevent injuries from slips, trips, and falls. Following OSHA guidelines, any vertical change, ramp, or elevated work surface should be marked with safety lines—in addition to the provision of sufficient guardrails or covers. Floor marking tape is often the best option for marking edges and trip hazards—it applies easily, with no dry time required, is durable and long-lasting, and can be custom printed with safety messages to provide additional relevant information that’s not easily conveyed through color alone.
6) Improve Housekeeping for Safety
Floor marking tape creates order. You’ve provided directional instructions for foot and vehicle traffic, but taped lines can also provide a clear reminder to keep tools, carts, machinery, and debris out of high-traffic or traveled paths. With visual cues, warehouse employees know which spaces must remain unobstructed and make decisions to clear away clutter, improving safety and efficiency without the need for micromanaging. Using taped lines or floor signs helps improve 5S or Lean workflows in industrial facilities by assigning out-of-the-way space for machinery or tools storage, creating red tag areas to reallocate unused tools and supplies, designating specific work zones, and bringing attention to hazards.
Creating a safer, more efficient warehouse or industrial work zone is a constant process, but floor marking tape and custom floor signs can help improve safety and workflows. Make a plan for safety markings, lay heavy-duty industrial floor marking tape throughout the facility, and adjust as necessary to prevent accidents and increase OSHA compliance.