Using aisle marking tape to comply with OSHA standards

2 min read

OSHA, the Occupational Essential Safety and Health Maintenance, is known for issuing all kinds of guidelines and restrictions for even the smallest, most insignificant information, and has a lot of influence about all things that happen within the industrial facility.  OSHA agents clearly enjoy swooping on any type of containment strategy that falls slightly next to the prescribed standard even if it works perfectly fine to your business in topic; such as small debris or water nearby a walkway.  The overall objective of OSHA is to preserve and safeguard the welfare of employees and owners and managers of businesses do their best to comply with the pages of rules that are governed by OSHA.  One important aspect of keeping a facility organized and safe is how one lays aisle marking tape inside the building.  OSHA furnishes several requirements and strategies for just this particular concern.

The straight forward rule from OSHA for marking aisles is not the matter or method of using straight lines, shattered segments or dots but the simple rule is that they have to be marked and clearly defined.  The aisles themselves also have to meet a number of minimum widths, depending on just what the aisle is destined to be used for.   Aisles that are used for forklift trucks or other mechanical equipment will need to be wider than aisles for pedestrian traffic.  A good average size would be 4 feet.  With that being said, the recommended width of aisle marking tape varies from 2 inches to 6 inches; therefore any width 2 inches or more is considered acceptable.  Four inches is most popular as a highly visible cost effective option.

No longer does OSHA require specific colors for marking aisles to comply with their standards, but color coding schemes are recommended in their guidelines.  It is safe to say that it doesn’t hurt to decide upon adopting the color code scheme, if only for the fact that the system provides gained widespread acclaim and many companies use it to advertise uniformity.  A legend that provides standard color for particular needs makes communication and identification associated with what the marking tape is meant to represent less difficult.  An employee does not have to read a bunch of words but instead can just cast a glance and will immediately be aware of the circumstance at hand.  A common method for marking is by using yellow stripes as it is bright and can be seen from distance away.  OSHA defines yellow as the caution color and by using a solid yellow color will maximize contrast with any particular background and is the preferred method for traffic markings.  OSHA recommends using the following standard color legend to easily communicate the situation at hand to employees:

  • Black/Yellow – Caution

Mark hazards that could cause stumbling, falling, tripping, trapping, etc.

  • Black/White – Boundary

Stairways, traffic aisles, etc.

  • Red/White – Fire

Fire alarm, extinguisher, fire exit, fire hydrant and pump locations

  • Green/White – Safety

Locations of first aid, eye wash, and safety equipment

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