Floor marking is a tricky subject in many factory and warehouse environments. To make the process easier, we’ve created a simple but comprehensive guide to floor marking. If you work in any kind of industrial environment, we highly recommend reading on to find out what you might be doing wrong in your workplace.
What are the benefits of floor marking?
Certain floor markings are required by law, but it also makes perfect sense to implement a full colour-coded system for many more reasons, some of which could also boost your profits! A few of the main benefits include:
- Clearly indicates hazards, thereby reducing accidents
- Easier to access first aid, equipment or exits in the event of an emergency
- Reduces confusion and wasted time
- Easy way to navigate around a large area
- Universal, visual message which is not affected by language barriers
- Does not get in the way or obstruct access
If you choose lane marking tape or hazard warning tape to implement your system, these are both durable, long-term solutions while still being easy to apply, remove and change if necessary.
What does the law say about floor marking? This is a great question, and the answer may vary depending on your country. Different health and safety regulators offer different advice on this subject. In the UK for example, HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) is the relevant authority on health and safety in the workplace. In its guidelines, HSE refers Regulation 17 of the Workplace Regulations (1992), which only states: “All traffic routes shall be suitably indicated where necessary for reasons of health or safety.”
HSE also indicates that lane markings should be continuous lines (“preferably white or yellow”), but the exact requirements are not too specific. We highly recommend doing some research to check what the law says in your country before deciding exactly what you need to mark out and what colours you might use. What do the different colours mean? Although in most countries there are no strict laws determining which colours you should use to denote certain hazards or lanes, many industrial workplaces tend to use similar systems which might be helpful to refer to. For example, different coloured foil tapes are usually used to mark the following areas: The colours above can be used interchangeably as long as the system being used is very clearly communicated to all workers so there is no confusion. For hazard markings (lines with diagonal stripes), the colours are more universal so you should stick to the following meanings:
How can I implement a floor marking system?
After checking which laws and guidelines are relevant to your workplace, you’re ready to define the system you will use in your workplace. We recommend following these best practices:
- Create a document defining what each colour means. This must be readily accessible to everyone who enters the area, and should be as visual as possible to avoid misunderstandings.
- Use as few colours as possible to make the system easier to remember. For example, different equipment might be for different purposes, but can all be labelled under the same category in terms of health and safety.
- Avoid using multiple colours that look similar at first glance, and choose the highest contrast taking into account the colour of the floor itself.
- Create a detailed floor plan showing all colour-coded areas to ensure your system works before placing any floor markings. You might also want to display this map clearly in the workplace.
What’s the best way to apply lane marking tape?
Once you’ve defined your colour-coded plan of action, you’re ready to start applying your tape. Here we have a few more useful tips to consider:
- Clean the floor and allow it to dry fully before applying tape. It will usually stick if you don’t do this, but the end result will not be as long-lasting or as attractive.
- Consider using chalk to sketch out guidelines before applying the tape.
- For large floor areas, it may be easier to use an applicator tool to ensure straight lines and complete the job faster with a more professional finish.
- Remember to use continuous lines for lane marking, but if you’re labelling areas to keep equipment or boxes, you might only need to mark each corner of the area.
- For even clearer communication, consider adding name labels to some or all of your colour-coded areas.
Advance recommends… Advance offers specially-designed products for this purpose: AT8 Lane Marking Tape (https://www.advancetapes.com/products/at8/) and AT8H Hazard Warning Tape (https://www.advancetapes.com/products/at8h/). Both offer a range of features which make them ideal for floor marking:
- Made from low-stretch PVC, which will not retract and unstick itself after application
- Can be applied by hand or machine
- Can be walked on immediately after application
- Available in a range of standard colours to create your colour-coded system
If you have any more questions about using our products, please contact us! Call +44 (0)116 251 0191 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to our sales team, who will be happy to assist.
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