When looked at from a high level, warehouses can look like a complicated mess where products are constantly coming and going with little rhyme or reason. Once you look closer, and really understand how things work, however, it is clear that a properly managed warehouse operates like a well-oiled machine. One great example of something in the warehouse that looks confusing at first, but is actually essential for organization, is floor markings.
Floor markings are used in many ways to convey information to people within the facility. Understanding how to best use floor markings will help any facility to run more efficiently, more safely, and even more profitably. This does require coming up with a great floor marking strategy that will be effective. For each of the following floor marking ideas, you need to decide if it will provide value to your facility, whether to use floor marking tape or paint, and how to train people on what the various floor markings mean.
Organizing Aisles with Floor Markings
Warehouses typically have a large number of aisles of shelving or racks to store various products and materials. While each aisle is easy to see based on the physical racks that are there, it is not always easy to navigate. Having floor marking tape in each aisle will let people know how close they can get to the shelving without bumping into it. This type of tape also helps to ensure items that are on the shelves or racks do not stick out into the aisle, which could cause a variety of different types of hazards. You can also use floor marking arrows or other symbols to instruct people on which way they should be traveling or when vehicles are permitted.
Guiding People to Emergency Exits
Floor markings can be very useful when it comes to helping people during emergencies. Using a specific color or pattern of floor marking that always leads people to the nearest exit is a great option for helping to improve workplace safety. Many companies will even use glow in the dark floor marking tape so that it is easier to follow even if the power has gone out.
Alerting People to Ledges or Other Fall Hazards
In many warehouses there are ledges, loading docks, manholes, and other serious fall hazards that can be difficult to see. Using floor markings to alert people that they are approaching this type of danger is a great way to help keep them safe. This type of floor marking can alert people walking in the area as well as anyone who is driving a high-low or forklift. Just make sure that the markings are placed far enough away from the hazard so that people will have time to stop. Many warehouses will place one color marking some distance away from the ledge, then transition to red or another color right next to the edge.
Marking Areas Around Electric Panels
Placing floor markings around electrical panels is very important, and in many cases, required by OSHA. The markings are put there to help ensure nobody accidently touches the electrical panel, or runs into it with any type of vehicle. Both of these events could cause electrocutions, fires, or other problems. In addition, it is very common to place floor marking signs in front of the panel letting people know that they should not block the area by putting any supplies or other objects in that location. Keeping the areas around electric panels is important for the safety of employees and the entire warehouse.
Guidance for Forklifts
When forklifts and other indoor vehicles are traveling throughout a warehouse, they need to know where to go, how fast, and when to stop. This is not unlike traveling on a normal road, except the visibility is often much lower, and people are often walking in the same areas as these vehicles are driving. Floor marking tape can help to keep vehicles and pedestrians away from each other and provide guidelines for the drivers on how to operate safely.
Implementing a Good Floor Marking Strategy
It is not enough to simply put floor markings down and hope for the best. No matter what type of warehouse you are operating, it is essential that you come up with an effective plan on how floor markings will be used. Once that plan has been developed, you will also need to provide training for everyone who works in, or visits, the facility. This will take some added effort, but in the end, it will help to ensure the warehouse operates as safely and efficiently as possible at all times.
- Floor Marking for Warehouse Traffic
- What is floor marking?
- Floor Markings for Safety
- Floor Marking: Paint or Tape?
- The Visual Workplace
- Floor Tape for Workplace Organization
- All About Floor Marking Tape
- Social Distancing Tools: Wall And Floor Signs– creativesafetysupply.com
- Floor Marking Ideas for Warehouses– creativesafetysupply.com
- Floor Marking for Warehouse Traffic– forkliftsafety101.com
- Floor Markings for Safety– safetyvisuals.com
- An Introduction to Floor Markings– facilityfloortape.com
- Floor Marking Tape Applications– floormarkingtape.org
- Industrial Floor Tape vs. Industrial Floor Paint– infographicsdirectory.org
- Floor Marking Options– floor-marking-tape.com
- NEC + OSHA Electrical Panel Clearance Requirements– electricalsafetyexpert.com