Industrial floor marking tape is an investment in safety that needs to last to achieve maximum effect. To make sure each facility gets the most out of its safety investment, it is important to choose the correct marking tape based on the facility’s needs and how the tape will be used.
When choosing floor marking, the first question to consider is: “What purpose should it achieve in this facility?”
5S organization tape in a warehouse is not always the right choice for emergency exit guidance in an office building, and both types of tape are different from slip protection on an outdoor ladder.
Knowing the goal the floor marking needs to achieve will help identify which type of floor marking option will serve the facility best. For instance, facility and EHS professionals should consider the following:
- Implement Emergency Egress Marking - Using glow-in-the-dark tape to indicate the most direct route to an exit in your facility.
- Organize The Facility With 5S - Using different tape colors, floor signs and printed floor tape to indicate storage areas, walking paths, forklift lanes, pallet locations, red tag areas, raw material storage, areas to be kept clear, hazards and other efficiency based organization initiatives.
- Add Traction - Providing a textured surface for areas where slips and falls are a serious hazard, like ladder rungs, ramps, in maritime environments, areas exposed to outdoor elements such as loading docks, or other slippery areas.
- Create A Wayfinding System - Creating an interconnected system of directional signs, labels and floor markings to help people know where they are and where they’re going in your facility.
The conditions within a facility can also affect the type of floor marking tape that needs to be chosen for the best longevity and effectiveness. Floor marking tapes applied indoors which are not subjected to environmental conditions such as repeated exposure to water, large temperature shifts, UV light, and dirt/debris may not require the level of durability and longevity that tape near a freight elevator or loading dock might.
Expected Wear and Tear
After evaluating expected environmental conditions, it is wise to assess expected wear and tear. If the floor marking tape will predominately be walked upon, it will tend to last longer than tape that is constantly driven over by forklifts.
For low foot traffic areas, floor marketing tape comes in a variety of color options is ideal for wayfinding and 5S applications.
For high foot traffic areas and locations with occasional equipment usage like pallet jacks and dollys, there are more durable options that can withstand prolonged use in warehouse facilities.
Some tapes are designed to be used with forklifts and other machine traffic. It can be constructed from an impact resistant PVC film minimizing any potential damage caused by heavy objects striking the tape.
Floor Marking Tape Applications
With the assortment of tapes available, choosing the correct ones for your facility is no easy task. The following tape applications can be used alone or in conjunction with one another, depending on your safety needs:
- Aisle Tape: Outline safe walking areas for pedestrians and driving lanes for forklifts with Aisle tape. Aisle tape typically needs to be able to withstand a range of heavy traffic including abuse from forklifts, hand trucks, and pedestrians
- Glow in the Dark Tape: Be prepared for a power outage by selecting a high-quality tape for highlighting egress pathways in emergency and low-light situations.
- Reflective Tape: Selection ranges from engineer-grade reflective and prismatic-reflective tape to high-powered conspicuity tape for transportation use (Department of Transportation certified tape) and should be compliant with DOT 2/NHTSA standards. Some tapes have an multiple-year outdoor lifespan.
- Anti-Slip Tape: Non-skid tapes include standard, coarse, extra-coarse, and more. Some varieties can come in glow-in-the-dark, hazard striped, or solid colors.
- Floor Signs: Create a safer and more efficient workplace with easy-to-read floor signs, an ideal way to improve pedestrian awareness as they travel through a facility or warehouse. Self-adhesive floor signs should be able to withstand pedestrian, pallet jack and even light forklift traffic. Floor signs are ideal for communicating simple messages that need to make a big impact.
- Floor Shapes: Communicate messages quickly and clearly with floor marking shapes like footprints, circles, corners, or Ts. Floor shapes are a cost-efficient way to indicate the proper storage locations and designated worker pathways without using a large amount of product.