ROAD SIGNAGE AFRICA
WAREHOUSE sAFETY MARKINGS
Warehouses are busy and hazardous environments with unique challenges to managing productivity, efficiency and safety issues. No one is more aware of this fact than the warehouse logistics manager. It’s always a struggle to provide optimum, safe working conditions in a warehouse setting. However, many significant improvements come from proper warehouse safety painting.
What is warehouse safety paint improvement? It’s a plan to use paint technology and strategic color combinations to make a warehouse safer, thereby improving protection for employees, equipment and products. Safety improvements result from initiatives like painting warehouse ceilings, warehouse floor painting and warehouse safety floor markings, and pedestrian walkway lines and aisles. Professional warehouse managers and facility engineers know the value in safety painting. They gauge the return on investment after upgrading and improving safety floor line markings and non-slip flooring. Without question, the money spent on warehouse safety painting pays back in spades.
Demarcation lines on warehouse floors provide tremendous benefits for worker safety and welfare. Lines and markings clearly identify warehouse regions and sectors. They provide safe walkways for pedestrians and non-hazardous thoroughfares for mobile equipment like forklifts. Lines also mark tool storage areas, waste disposal points and risky spaces like fuel depots and recharging stations.
A key element in planning warehouse lines and markings is consistency. Even though OSHA relaxed their prescribed color schemes and marking restrictions some time ago, it’s still important to use consistent floor lines and marks. Workers always recognize colors associated with a message more so than specific shapes and sizes. The important point in ensuring a safe solution is ensuring that directions are easy to understand and follow.
The only specifics OSHA now has on line markings for warehouse floors and aisles are about sizes. These measurements are minimum standards for visibility, practicality and safety. OSHA line and aisle standards include the following directives:
- A minimum line width of two inches is mandatory in all warehouse settings where aisle markings exist: OSHA recommends lines be larger, if possible. They suggest line size increments of three, four and up to six inches wide. Beyond that, OSHA reports that very large lines can have a negative visual effect.
- Corridors marking egress to emergency exits must be at least 28 inches wide: They allow greater magnitude where possible. The 28-inch rule derives from accessibility factors so that someone in a wheelchair has a clearly marked passage.
- Warehouse aisles must be marked to 36 inches wide: This distance allows ample room for most forklifts and other material handling equipment to turn without restriction. The three-foot rule also reduces the potential for standing workers to get trapped behind or beside equipment.
OSHA line marking regulations allow warehouse owners common-sense latitude in implementing a line and marking program that works for their individual situation. It’s long-proven that effective lines improve traffic flow and even worker morale in a warehouse. But there’s more to implementing a line and marking plan and deciding colors. It’s necessary to physically install the directions on the warehouse floor. That brings in three longevity parameters:
- Temporary floor lines and markers: Warehouse managers and safety officers need to assess how long they want their lines to exist. In short-term, ever-changing warehouse environments, it might be wise to use temporary marking symbols and lines. They might be tape-based or delineated by removable markers like bollards, guards or traffic direction cones. However, warehouses with stable layouts won’t benefit from investing in cheap and disposable products. In their case, properly painted lines are the only answer.
- Semi-permanent floor lines and markers: For longer wear and intended applications, most warehouse operators turn to paint as a minimal standard. Tapes and adhesive markings won’t stand up in long-term and heavy use, no matter what material they’re constructed from. Paint is a longer-lasting marking solution, whether that’s semi-permanent or for an indefinite period. Not all floor marking paints are the same though. A professional painting company specializing in commercial work can recommend paint types based on expected traffic and product use time.
- Permanent floor lines and markers: For warehouses in it for the long-haul, there’s no substitute for paint as a permanent fix. Commercial painters know what paint products give an indefinite life, and they know how to correctly apply them. Some permanent floor paints are epoxy-based. Some require etching the warehouse concrete floor so that the marking paint deeply bonds into the floor’s structure. Many permanently painted lines and markers have sealants and protective coats placed on top so that traffic never touches the paint pigment.
Painted warehouse floors and steps achieve two goals. One is the non-slip issue. The other is the high-visibility issue. Both are inextricably linked to each other in safety and performance terms.
All excellent commercial painting companies understand that prescribing the right warehouse floor and step paint is the key to performance. They also know that workers can’t depend solely on anti-slip footwear to protect them. It’s the paint type and application that guarantees performance.
As with line- and floor-marking, high visibility is a vital part of every company’s safety strategy. It’s crucial for warehouse workers to be seen by mobile machinery operators. That’s why hi-vis personal protection equipment is a mandatory dress code in all American warehouses. But it’s another thing for warehouse workers to be able to see. That’s where the right warehouse floor and stair surface paint colors come in.
So do the floor and stair paint textures. Light reflection is a core part of floor paint safety. It comes from the color hue and the paint’s surface sheen. The safest warehouse floors have light colors that reflect light and make it easy for workers to see where they’re going. Sheens have to reflect light but not be blindingly bright. Finally, floor paints must contrast with lines and markings. That way, they combine to work as safely as possible.
Safety Paint Products and Colors
Over the years, the safety industry settled on universal colors for specific hazard warnings. While OSHA removed their prescriptive rules under the old Safety Color Code, they strongly suggest warehouse managers, engineers and safety officers adopt color strategies universally recognized in modern workplaces.
Commercial painting contractors are excellent resources for planning warehouse color safety paint strategies. Commercial and industrial painters go beyond the basic principles where red is primarily for sprinklers, orange is typically found on ammonia pipes and floor bollards get bright yellow paint. Although paint schemes aren’t mandated by law, commercial painters follow prescriptive safety paint rules. Generally, they include these color messages:
- Yellow: Aisles and traffic lanes, or paths of egress, use highly-visible yellow tones.
- White: Production areas, including racks, machines and benches, use bright white shades.
- Red: High hazards and warning tags, along with defected parts, use red paint.
- Orange: Energized equipment or materials needing inspection and servicing are orange.
- Green: First-aid-related areas and equipment, as well as raw materials, use green.
- Blue: Water sources and works-in-progress utilize blue color schemes.
- Black: Finished goods and stationary equipment usually have black paint.
- Black/Yellow: High-risk areas and objects identify with a black/yellow paint combination.
- Red/White: Safety warnings and “keep-clear” areas are demarcated with red/white patterns.
- Black/White: This combination signals “no-go” zones for safety and non-safety regions.
High-hazard and risk-warning regions aren’t the only highlights to a warehouse safety color plan. Floors, walls, and ceilings also need attention. So do barriers like gates, guards, and bollards. In fact, colors have so much effect on human behavior that they’re impossible to ignore in every warehouse safety program. The following are color effects to consider when planning warehouse painting schemes:
- Red: Reds stimulate people’s emotions and bodily functions. Red accents are excellent for detail focusing and attention gathering but can be overpowering when excessively used.
- Green: Green is nature’s most popular color. It promotes harmony, relieves stress and delivers tranquility. Too much green, however, can sedate warehouse workers.
- Yellow: Like orange, yellow is a stimulant and creates enthusiasm as well as promotes creativity. Some people have negative reactions to yellow and get angry or frustrated.
- Brown: Brown is a good accent color, as it’s earthy and natural. On one hand, brown gives comfort. On the other hand, it can be depressing.
- White: Too much white is overpowering and institutional. While it gives a clean, bright look, it’s also stark and bland to many warehouse workers.
- Blue: Blue is a can’t-go-wrong color. Light blue tones appear neutral and encouraging, while dark blue is a universal sign of authoritative reassurance.
APPLICATION AND PREPARATION
Internal and external warehouse markings often require a more intricate design process to help to ensure the safety of your employees. At Road Signage Africa we work with your team to design a marking map that will enhance your entire operation.
Helping to ensure the health and safety of all your workers, our team can work with your staff to identify any potential hazards in your warehouse. By highlighting specific problem zones, such as parking bays, walkways, fire exits or danger zones, we can advise a clear strategy that will reduce the risks of this potentially dangerous environment, such as helping to control vehicle movements and keep pedestrians safe.
With a range of highly visible colours and quick-drying paints and thermoplastics, we offer an efficient service with minimal disruption.
Preparation by captive blasting/shot blasting available upon request.
Thermoplastic from our manufacturing plant can be customised to your requirements.
Using our own expertly crafted thermoplastic, that is certified to the highest standards in accordance with IS EN 9001:2015 and the BSI Kitemark Licence, our road markings offer a guarenteed product of long lasting, sustainable road safety.
Our experience on many of the major road networks throughout South Africa and Africa, complemented by our customised fleet of vehicles and expert technicians, means we are able to advise on and provide road marking solutions to the highest specification, that help to save lives.
CAR PARK MARKINGS
Car parks involve intricate planning and attention to detail to ensure the safety of users. To prevent any blockages or accidents it is important that lines and markings are absolutely clear.
With a range of solutions for indoor and outdoor car parks we can help ensure long-lasting surface markings that are in line with current legislation and uphold the latest standards.
We are perfectly placed to provide our clients with valuable advice and support on:
- Product range
- Parking restrictions
- Special zoned areas
- Traffic flow
- Parking bays
- General layout
GAMES COURTS AND PLAYGROUND MARKINGS
With a focus on encouraging children to play outdoors, we can create dynamic and educational surface markings that are specially designed to get children active.
Our various courts and playground markings come in a wide range of vibrant colours and help to create safe and enjoyable areas for athletes and children alike. Our expertise can help develop any playground or sports court to provide a safe and enjoyable break or after-school activity.
Having worked with a number of schools and sports organisations as well as the Health Service Executive in Ireland, we have a wealth of experience in designing visually stimulating markings.
AIR & RAIL MARKINGS
Given the high levels of traffic that pass through airports and train stations, markings on air and rail surfaces must be durable and visible, ensuring passenger and staff safety.
All our markings come with our trademarked safety and sustainability assurance and we are proud of our service that genuinely helps support and protect. Having worked with top aviation and rail authorities we have a wealth of experience and knowledge which is unique to the health and safety of this industry.
Using our custom-made products we offer a precise and accurate marking process for:
- General lines
- Internal lines
- Car park and grounds marking maintenance
- Anti-skid (high friction) surfacing
- Specialist surface coatings
We specialise in the application of durable, visible, high-performance road studs that improve road safety for all users. Road studs complement road markings and when applied together result in high-visibility markings in all weather conditions.
We use the highest quality road studs, manufactured to BS EN standards, approved by the Department of Transport. From permanent carriageway delineation to marking temporary traffic works, we are able to recommend, source and apply the right road stud. There is a wide range of stud type and reflector colour available, suitable for every application.