Purpose for Floor Markings in a Factory

3 min read

When visitors tour industrial factories, they often see well-ordered industrial equipment set up for optimal efficiency. Many people often just attribute floor markings within industrial settings to companies attempting to improve supply chain performance through such practices as lean manufacturing. However, they would only be partially right in most cases because many of the markings seen on industrial floors are used to protect factory workers from occupational hazards that are inherently present within many factory environments.

Directing Industrial Motor Vehicle Traffic

Just as outdoor roadways have clear markings that designate pathways for motor vehicles, so do factories as mandated by the Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA). Forklifts and other motorized carts which are needed to efficiently transport heavy and awkward loads throughout an industrial space should not be allowed to roam around in an uncontrolled fashion within warehouses. This would cause accidents for workers and potential damage to expensive factory equipment, machinery, and stored goods. Floor markings in factories help to clearly delineate factory pedestrian work areas and paths from the flow of motorized traffic.

Color Discrimination In Factories

Yes, color matters when it comes to applying floor markings for factory safety purposes. Although OSHA does not mandate which colors must be used for factory floor markings, it does require that companies establish a color coded floor marking plan and follow the plan within their workspaces. Like many quality analysts, OSHA inspectors judge and rate companies on whether they have a color code plan for floor markings, if the plan has been followed, and how familiar the employees are with the floor marking color plan. The most common color used to designate motorized pathways and to indicate the need for special pedestrian precautions is yellow.

Materials Used For Floor Markings In Factories

In the past, the hard, concrete flooring characteristic of an industrial factory or warehouse was painted with lines that designate hazards as well as pedestrian safety zones. This method was an adequate solution that was applied using durable grades of paint, professional stencils, and often the steady hands of a factory worker designated to paint. We’re quite fortunate that today’s advanced materials allow factory facility managers to simply lay down industrial strength floor marking tape quickly and easily. In addition, the use of tape ensures greater color retention as well as more professional and evenly marked lines.

Floor Markings to Designate Hazardous Work Areas

Overall, one of the main reasons why floor markings are important in an industrial area is because they protect warehouse workers from hazards. These floor markings are most often an attention getting color that is used to completely mark off hazardous materials, machinery, and equipment. The floor markings that which separate the main work space from the space that contains hazardous substances is usually sufficient. However, most factories go the extra mile to ensure a safe work environment for their employees by also including special symbols and textual warnings to further indicate the type and proximity of the hazard. Additionally, some OSHA standards require associated symbols that provide further warning of hazardous materials as well.

Industrial floor markings often serve dual purposes. However, it is for safety reasons rather than factory organization that the floor markings are truly needed and required.

Floor Tape vs. Floor Paint Infographic

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