Thousands of people are injured in the workplace each year, and many more are killed. While there have been some great improvements in workplace safety over the past few generations, many facilities still have a long way to go. One quick and easy thing that most workplaces can do to improve safety is to begin using floor markings. Floor markings are a great form of visual communication that will allow you to convey specific safety (and other) messages to anyone in the area.
Examples of Effective Floor Markings for Safety
There are many different ways that floor markings can be used to improve safety in the workplace. Each facility is going to have a different set of hazards, and therefore different types of solutions that are needed. Go through the following list to get ideas on how you can begin using floor markings. Then, walk through your own facility and look for opportunities where you use this type of visual communication to keep people safer.
- Aisle Markings – Aisle markings are one of the most common ways that floor markings are used. The markings can identify where aisles begin, how close someone should get to the edge, and which direction people or vehicles should be traveling.
- Driving Instructions – Providing instructions to drivers of hi-lows and forklifts is a great use of floor markings. Markings can tell drivers how fast to go, when to stop, where pedestrians may be, and much more.
- Door Swing Warning – Doors swinging open unexpectedly causes more injuries that most people would expect. Marking off where doors can swing open helps to prevent these types of accidents.
- Directions to Exits – Clearly marking the path to all exits is an essential safety task. Floor markings are an excellent way to do this.
- Location of Safety Equipment – Marking where fire extinguishers, emergency eye wash stations, personal protection equipment, and other safety items are located is a great use of floor markings.
- Slippery Floor Warnings – Warning people that the floor may be slippery is a great use of floor markings. You can even use floor marking tape specially designed to improve traction to help solve this problem.
Of course, there are many other areas where markings can be used to increase safety in a facility. Many companies even combine floor markings with workplace safety signs. The signs can go up on the wall or other eye-level areas, and the floor markings go on the floor to help ensure everyone sees important information no matter where they happen to be looking.
Types of Floor Markings
There are many different types of floor markings that you can choose from. They each have their advantages and disadvantages to be aware of. The following are the most common types of floor markings used for safety in most facilities:
- Floor Marking Tape – Floor marking tape is extremely durable and comes in many different colors and materials. You can use floor marking tape in just about any environment to make things safer.
- Floor Marking Signs – Floor markings signs are essentially just tape that was pre-made to convey a specific message. These signs can be any shape or size and say exactly what is needed.
- Floor Marking Paint – Floor marking paint is a long-lasting option that can be used in most areas. Paint can be applied directly to the floor or used with stencils to make a custom message.
- Floor Marking Lights – For temporary markings you can use floor marking lights. These machines will project easy to see light onto the floor in an area to convey a message.
Many facilities will actually use a combination of all of these different types of floor markings. Since each one is ideally used in different situations, it is a good idea to analyze where a marking is needed, and how to best accomplish your goals.
Creating a Floor Marking Safety Strategy
No matter which type of floor markings you use, it is important to have a comprehensive floor marking safety strategy. This should be a written document that everyone is familiar with so they understand what the various types of markings mean. Simply putting floor marking tape down without teaching people its meaning is not going to have a positive effect. For example, come up with rules for what color floor marking to use in what situation.
Having this policy in place and training given to everyone who works in the facility will help maximize its effectiveness. It is also a good idea to have a quick reference chart that can be used by emergency responders and visitors to the facility so that they know what the different types of markings mean
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- Visuals for the Workplace: Safety Signs & Labels
- Formatting Safety Signs
- The Food Processing Plant & Visual Safety
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- Creating Safety Signs with a Label Printer– label-printers.org