Observing OSHA Floor Marking Standards

Observing OSHA Floor Marking Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), tasked with regulating and assigning requirements and guidelines for the welfare of employees all across America, may seem like a daunting agency to satisfy, with so many different little things that one needs to get right for a company not to be in violation of one rule or another. It would be foolish to deny that OSHA compliance can, indeed, become rather cumbersome. However, with regard to floor marking, OSHA is slightly more liberal in its approach. Industrial facilities have a meaningful amount of leeway as to the design and arrangement of their work floors, though there are nevertheless a few mandatory issues that need to be observed. OSHA floor marking standards, by and large, are recommendatory in character, though the suggestions have been accepted and implemented with such extensive success that you may want to seriously consider adopting them.

The only OSHA floor marking standards that should be followed at all times are the need to have floor markings in the first place, the dimensions of the floor markings, and the pathways that they clarify. They are based on considerations of practicality. Certainly, having aisles and passages that include the length and breadth of a structure would be useless if nobody could see where they were, so it makes sense to compel warehouses and factories to mark them out. The guiding lines can’t be so thin that they can barely be seen, nor so thick that they truly decline the obtainable space by a substantial margin. Lastly, the indoor roads have to be wide enough for both human and forklift traffic to pass, with a few additional feet of allowance so that it doesn’t feel congested, or vehicles would be unable to maneuver properly.

Outside of those considerations, OSHA does not already require that the floor markings be of a particular color. They have provided some suggested color codes for yellow and red, with the former standing for caution and the latter marking fire-specific equipment, but nothing beyond these two colors.

And however, if you were to walk into an industrial facility today, you may find floor markings in orange, green, blue and already purple, on far away occasions. Dissatisfied with the rare information that could be conveyed by the use of only two colors, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) devised a system of marking that made use of other colors to convey other kinds of information. Their effective and functional color coding system was ultimately promoted by OSHA, with such enthusiasm that many people mistake the ANSI standards as being original OSHA creations. The different colors cover such identification concerns as the presence of safety or medical equipment, the gauntlet of hazards that a person faces in an industrial facility, from fire to being trampled by a machine, or already the locations of neutral, inherently harmless objects like benches and carts. When used diligently, these colors help to duly inform employees of what lies beyond the line perimeters, and to use the appropriate protective gear, or simply stay away from danger.

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