Info You Need to Know About 5S Floor Tapes

Floor marking is an important aspect of the set in order phase of 5S - Use this information to create efficient spaces and comply with OSHA regulations.

Floor marking tape doesn't just brighten up floors - it improves safety, creates organization, and helps achieve the 5S set in order step. Moreover, it supports the behavioral changes that are the essence of a successful 5S process.

The most crucial principal of the set in order phase is giving items a designated home in your workplace. Once everything is sorted, it's time to set things back in order by providing specific locations for items in your work area. The objective is to create a place for everything. In doing so, the most effective way to accomplish this step is to mark off areas with floor marking tape, symbols, signs, and labels. Floor tape creates visual spaces throughout your plant, warehouse, production floor, and beyond.

By using floor marking tapes, you can identify aisles, traffic routes, storage areas, equipment and machinery, and hazards. When floor marking tape is used effectively, someone like a delivery person will always know the exact location to drop off goods or things like scraps will always be placed in the appropriate bins.

Floor marking tapes enhance organization and eliminate waste - the biggest time crushers in the workplace. By providing designated places for items, searching for their location on the production floor is eliminated.

How to get the most out of 5S Floor Tapes?

In order to reap all the benefits of floor marking, you need to ensure you're following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Per OSHA, efficient handling and storing of materials are vital to a wide range of industries. When you create specific places for materials and items with floor marking tapes, you create a continuous flow of parts throughout your workplace. Anyone trying to achieve 5S knows continuous flow is an important part of lean manufacturing.

Additionally, using floor marking tapes reduces workplace injuries by recognizing potential hazards, which is a huge part of OSHA compliance. Failure to recognize hazards could lead to serious injuries that could create costly fines.

What are OSHA requirements for floor marking tapes?

Although OSHA doesn't recommend specific colors, CFR1910.144 requires red and yellow color identification:

Red - Identifies fire-related hazards, including fire protection equipment and containers of flammable liquids, emergency switches, and hazardous buttons on machinery.

Yellow – Use yellow for marking physical hazards - including striking against, stumbling, falling, tripping, and caught-in-between.

  • OSHA mentions that yellow lines are usually recognized as the most convenient and inexpensive way to mark aisles and passageways.

What color floor marking tape should I use for identification, other than red and yellow?

Consistency is the key when it comes to creating standards and avoiding confusion throughout your facility. The basic color-coded recommendations that are widely accepted throughout the industry - and that comply with any interpretation of OSHA or ANSI codes are as follows:

  • White - Production or racks, machines, carts, benches, and other equipment that doesn't fall under any other color guidelines.
  • Orange - Materials or product inspection or energized equipment.
  • Green - Raw materials or first aid-related locations.
  • Blue - Work in progress.
  • Black - Finished goods.
  • Black/Yellow - Areas which present physical or health risks to employees. Red/White - Areas to be kept clear for safety reasons (around emergency access points, electrical panels, firefighting equipment, etc.)
  • Black/White - Areas to be kept clear for operational purposes (non-safety related)

When determining a specific color floor marking tape to complement the set in order 5S step, ensure you meet OSHA 1910.22 which requires permanent aisles and passageways be marked appropriately and in a consistent manner plant-wide.

Consistent color-coded floor marking can lead to a number of benefits in your workplace:

  1. Provide visual cues for proper location
  2. Eliminate confusion of what specific colored floor marking tapes mean
  3. Transmit important messages - such as extreme caution areas.

OSHA requires floor marking tape to meet these standards:

  • Floor marking lines must be at least 2" wide to ensure maximum visibility
  • Aisles should be at least 4' wide or at least 3' wider than the largest piece of equipment used in the aisle.

When selecting your floor marking tapes, contact the 5S store for the most durable aisle and floor marking tapes in the industry. They will provide installation tips while making sure you’re getting the right tape for your particular environment.

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