When employers imagine floor marking, most think of aisle markers, pathway designations, and hazard stripes. However, large floor signs can play an important role in a broader floor marking system by maintaining order, keeping workers safe, and mitigating hazards.
Here’s a look at basic floor marking requirements and the benefits of floor signs.
OSHA Requirements for Floor Signs
OSHA requires floor marking in United States workplaces but offers little specific direction; the agency’s standard for walking and working surfaces (29 CFR 1910.22) doesn’t mention floor marking specifically; rather, it maintains that employers must provide “a safe means of access and egress to and from walking-working surfaces.” (OSHA has also issued various interpretations to clarify the agency’s floor marking requirements.)
The agency doesn’t outline any specific guidelines for floor signs, but they are considered an effective component of a broader floor marking system.
Common Uses for Floor Signs
Employers generally use basic floor marking tape for laying out aisles, pathways, and storage areas. Detailed floor signs can expand upon these basic floor marking efforts and contribute to a more thorough, useful system. Here’s how:
- Traffic control: Alert forklift drivers to stop, offer directions for traffic flow, and establish speed limits
- PPE advisories: Remind employees to wear PPE, and call out which kind(s) of PPE may be required
- Fire safety: Lead employees or visitors toward fire exits and other fire safety supplies
- Pedestrian safety: Establish pedestrian paths, indicate pedestrian crossings, and alert workers to the presence of forklifts (or other machinery)
Benefits of Floor Signs
Once you know how to use floor signs in your facility, it’s good to know why they’re such an effective, helpful tool. Here’s are a few benefits of effective floor signs:
- Improved communication: Given their size (circular floor signs can range from 12" to 32" across), floor signs can clearly convey information about safety and organization
- Durable performance: High-quality floor signs can be made to withstand hand trucks, forklifts, and other warehouse traffic
- Easy installation: Peel-and-stick floor signs ensure quick installation with no drying time or paint fumes (as opposed to painted-on floor signs)
- Increased safety: Floor signs can keep workers from walking into hazardous areas—and offer guidance for staying safe when they do
Wayfinding with Floor Signs
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, employers can establish, improve, and complement an effective wayfinding system with floor signs. Here are a few ways in which floor signs can help:
- Improve navigation: Floor signs with printed-on arrows can show employees where to go, how to get there, and which areas are off-limits to either forklifts or pedestrians
- Establish rules: Signs may offer specific rules (“Left turn only,” for instance) that help employees move around a facility in the safest, most efficient manner possible
- Point out landmarks: Floor signs can show employees where to find the exit, emergency exits, and other destinations
Interested in learning more about wayfinding? Graphic Products’ free Best Practice Guide to Wayfinding outlines relevant standards, breaks down the elements of a successful wayfinding system, and helps you get started. Request your Best Practice Guide to Wayfinding today.
Floor Sign Resources from Graphic Products
Graphic Products offers free resources to help employers get started with floor marking and floor signs. Get a primer on floor marking basics with our Best Practice Guide to Floor Marking, and learn about common floor marking uses with our Floor Marking Color Chart.
Graphic Products offers dozens of floor signs to meet your facility’s various safety needs. The peel-and-stick signs, available in numerous sizes, help improve safety and increase productivity through eye-catching cues. Browse our selection of versatile floor signs.
Looking for custom floor signs that reflect your facility's specific needs? Graphic Products offers a custom sign and label service to help communicate exactly what you want, how you want. Call us at 888.326.9244 to explain your floor sign needs (or make plans to submit a sketch of what you're envisioning), and a Graphic Products representative will help develop your sign.