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Types of Floor Marking

By Matt Wastradowski

Pathfinder floor tape in  warehouse example

As workplaces grow increasingly sophisticated, it’s imperative that employers keep workers safe, increase efficiency, and improve organization.

Floor marking is one subtle, yet effective way to meet these requirements. Available in several colors, patterns, and materials, floor marking plays an important role in addressing common safety concerns—no matter the workplace or industry.

Here’s a look at the different types of floor marking tape and how they improve organization and increase efficiency in numerous common workplace environments, and how PathFinder floor marking, wayfinding, and safety tape by Graphic Products can help.

Floor Marking for Warehouse Environments

Warehouse floor markingNo matter how large or small your warehouse may be, odds are good it can benefit from effective floor marking. Here’s a sampling of how floor marking can help:

  • Color-coded floor marking: Cordon off storage and inventory areas; create pathways and traffic routes; and create boundaries around work areas
  • Reflective floor marking: Make hazards and other important objects (such as posts, shelves, and speed bumps) more visible
  • Floor signs: Develop traffic controls for forklifts (and other powered industrial trucks) and advise workers of proper protocol
  • Hazard stripe tape: Establish clearance areas around electrical panels, and point out loading docks and other exposed edges

OSHA outlines few requirements for floor marking; the agency’s standard for walking and working surfaces (29 CFR 1910.22) states that, “The employer must provide, and ensure each employee uses, a safe means of access and egress to and from walking-working surfaces.”

Beyond the standard, OSHA has issued several interpretations to help employers develop effective floor marking systems. Learn more about OSHA’s floor marking requirements.

Floor Marking for Low-Light Situations

Low-light floor markingPower outages have become more common in recent years, as severe weather has impacted power grids throughout the United States; according to the Washington Post, weather-related outages cost $18-$33 billion each year.

Prepare for power outages and other emergencies with phosphorescent visual communication. Floor markings and glow-in-the-dark signs made from photoluminescent material can:

  • Outline emergency egress paths and direct workers to exits
  • Call out emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers and emergency phones
  • Highlight stairs and ramps
  • Identify building floors and exits

These types of luminous egress path markings are required in numerous local, national, and international building standards. Those include:

  • International Building Code (IBC): The International Code Council’s IBC provides guidance for how (and where) luminous exit markings must be used.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): The NFPA’s Life Safety Code, which covers building safety in the United States, includes requirements for when (and how) to use exit stair path markings.

Learn more about these standards (and other uses for glow-in-the-dark signage) with Graphic Products’ Introduction to Photoluminescent Labels, Signs & Path Marking guide.

Floor Marking for Marine Settings

Floor marking for marine environmentsDocks, ships, oil rigs, and other marine settings are rife with hazards. Slips, trips, and falls are especially common when working in marine environments. Fortunately, floor marking can keep workers safe, upright, and on the job. Here’s how various types of floor marking can help:

  • Tread tape (non-abrasive): Improve your grip on hand rails and desktop surfaces, and stay upright in areas where liquid spills regularly occur.
  • Tread tape (abrasive): Avoid slips and falls with abrasive tape that offers a stronger, more durable grip on stairs, patterned floors, and other slippery surfaces.
  • Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) tape: Reflective marking that meets U.S. Coast Guard standards can improve pathway visibility, make stairways and handrails easier to see, and call attention to personal floatation devices.

Floor Marking Resources from Graphic Products

Graphic Products offers two free resources to help employers get started with floor marking. Learn more about regulations and specific applications with our Best Practice Guide to Floor Marking, and get a quick look at common floor marking uses with our Floor Marking Color Chart.

Take steps toward a safer facility with PathFinder floor marking, wayfinding, and safety tape by Graphic Products. We offer standard floor marking tape, printed messages, floor signs, and more to help ensure a safer, more efficient workplace. Learn more about PathFinder floor marking tape.

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