Even though modern workplaces are much safer than they used to be in the past, they’re still fraught with hazards. Loading docks, busy warehouses, forklifts, energised equipment and many other hazards can make it quite difficult for staff to move and work safely through the facility. That being said, marking the floor is an essential component of a safe, hazard-free facility. The stripes, dots and lines lining facility floors throughout Australia help create order, mitigate hazards and keep employees away from danger.
Marking the floor with warning tape usually consists of symbols and lines. OSHA requires warning tape on the floor to be at least 5 centimetres wide to ensure visibility. When it comes to colours, however, there aren’t any specific requirements, but there are a few colours which are used for specific purposes, such as red being an indicator for fire-related hazards, emergency switches, buttons and bars on hazardous machines; and yellow being an indicator for physical hazards, such as falling, tripping, stumbling and “getting caught in between“.
Now that you understand the basics of floor marking, you can protect your employees in several ways. For instance, you can use it to separate employees from moving equipment and machines by using it to designate paths that protect by-walkers from electrical panels, forklifts, heavy machinery. Furthermore, you can use it to warn employees of hazardous areas like loading docks and areas with exposed edges.
Additionally, you can use it to provide clear instructions where employees should stand or not stand when operating machinery and heavy-duty equipment. This can be especially useful in low light conditions, and in case of an emergency. Floor marking can also improve forklift safety by marking pedestrian-only paths and establish traffic control for the forklift operators.
Lastly, besides improving the safety of employees, marking the floor can improve the organisation in the facility, as well as the efficiency. As aforementioned, established traffic routes can improve the flow of traffic, thus the employees and lifting equipment operators will manoeuvre around in a more safe and efficient manner. You can also implement it into your 5S system and designate storage areas for inventory, forklifts, PPE, hazardous equipment and more.
To sum it up, a simple investment in a warning tape can significantly improve the efficiency of the operations in your facility, but more importantly, it can improve the safety of your employees, potentially saving lives, preventing injury, and saving thousands if not millions in equipment and property damages.