Just as line markings on a street or highway increase safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians by clearly indicating such areas as passing zones, bike lanes, and crosswalks, quality line markings on the floors of factories, plants, and warehouses can greatly reduce workplace accident rates. This increase in safety is accompanied by decreased insurance rates, increased employee morale, and a reduction in staff turnover. Additionally, workplace floor markings can result in improved organization and cleanliness as well as an increase in overall efficiency.
Line Striping and Safety
Improperly or inadequately marked workplace floors are a proven detriment to safety. For example, a California automobile manufacturer with a notably high workplace accident rate had been called out for having pedestrian and forklift lanes marked with a low visibility gray as opposed to the standard safety yellow.
Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), designated aisles for pedestrian and equipment traffic must be clearly marked. The lines may be of any color and may consist of dots, squares, stripes, or unbroken lines as long as the aisles are clearly marked and easily recognizable. Aisle markings must be at least 2 inches in width and OSHA recommends the overall width of aisles be at least 3 feet wider than the largest piece of equipment utilized.
In addition to designating separate travel lanes for pedestrian and equipment traffic, quality floor markings can improve safety by clearly indicating the locations of such safety essentials as fire extinguishers, emergency eye wash stations, and decontamination showers. Floor markings can also be used to designate safe storage areas for equipment and potentially hazardous materials. In some instances, glow in the dark floor markings can be employed to indicate emergency exit routes and other crucial areas during low light conditions or in the event of a power outage.
Floor Markings and 5S Methodology
In addition to improving workplace safety, quality floor markings can notably improve operational efficiency and employee morale by helping facilitate adherence to 5S workplace methodology.
5S, which was developed within the Japanese manufacturing industry during the early 20th century stands for:
- Sort: Sort through all items in an area and remove unnecessary items in order to reduce search times, reduce distractions, simplify inspections, and maximize usable space.
- Set in Order: Place all required materials and equipment in a location optimal for required use thereby easing workflow.
- Shine: Clean and organize work and storage areas to maintain an efficient and safe environment while minimizing waste and decreasing errors and defects.
- Standardize: Implement standard processes that facilitate the above three “S” practices.
- Sustain: Train personnel to follow, by default, 5s methodology.
Proper floor markings are an invaluable tool when implementing 5S methodology in that they minimize search times for essential materials and equipment by indicating storage locations and by creating an organized and clutter-free workplace. Floor markings can be used to indicate everything from where cleaning supplies are located and how and where pallet jacks should be stored in order to avoid a trip and fall hazard, to how heavy equipment should be parked when not in use so as to most efficiently make use of limited floor space. These and other efficiency boosting measures facilitated by quality floor markings increase worker productivity and morale while also resulting in an organization that operates smoothly as a well-oiled machined.
Whether the goal is maximizing workplace safety or boosting overall productivity, quality, durable floor markings are a must and Preferred will meet your needs. For more information on floor markings or our other services, please contact us today. Our knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer your questions and provide a free estimate.