Assessing the workplace for potential safety hazards often leads companies to invest in signage, labels, personal protective equipment, and other safety products. Floor marking tape is an effective one of these since it’s a simple identifier of hazardous areas, places of caution, safe pathways, and other precautionary areas.
Why Tape Is Important
Often times the worst accidents are the easiest to prevent, and marking floors is one of the basic precautions that can help keep workers safe. Because slips, trips and falls account for 25% of all injury claims per fiscal year and 15% of all accidental deaths, and is responsible for more than 95 million lost work days annually, floor marking tape is an essential means of communication to alert workers about potential hazards.
Common Areas for Tape
When evaluating where floor marking tape would be best suited in your facility, consider these common applications of tape in accordance with OSHA regulations:
- Outlining areas containing hazardous chemicals or atmospheres
- Identifying high noise areas where hearing protection should be worn
- Marking areas directly in front of electrical panels
- Outlining areas around machinery and equipment that could threaten worker safety
- Marking uneven or bumpy locations in traffic areas, including places that could cause a fall or trip hazard
Tape Color Guide
Floor marking tape is available in a variety of color combinations, and although not required, there are general guidelines for when to use certain colors. Color guidelines published by OSHA, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide the commonly accepted code of tape colors. The OSHA Standard 1910.22 specifies the use of colors.
Common uses of the tape colors are as follows:
- Yellow: traffic lanes and aisle ways
- White: equipment and fixtures (workstations, carts, racks, etc.)
- Blue, green, or black: raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods
- Orange: materials or products held for inspection
- Red: defects, scrap, rework, and red tag areas
- Red and white stripe: areas to be kept clear for safety/compliance reasons (areas in front of electrical panels, firefighting equipment, and safety equipment)
- Black and white stripe: areas to be kept clear for operational purposes (not related to safety or compliance standards)
- Yellow and black stripe: areas that may expose employees to physical or health hazards
However you decide to use floor marking tape, it is important that its use and color code remain consistent throughout your facility.
A Component of Safety
Floor marking tape is an important baseline communicator of safety precautions in any facility. So along with other protective products in your workplace, remember the tape too.