Warehouses are usually very large spaces with complex logistics and a number of functions. Every little thing that can be done to improve the organization and safety of the employees should be seriously considered and eventually implemented. Line marking paint or tape project is one of those practices which can help you create a safer and more efficient facility by marking everything from product storage areas to hazardous areas. If you are considering upgrading your warehouse with floor striping, here are a few tips that should help you do this properly.
Choose Between Paint and Tape
This decision basically depends on your facility and your needs. The main difference between paint and tape is that tape is a temporary solution while paint is a permanent one. Some benefits of deciding for marking tape are that it is cheaper and easier to install. It is the ideal choice for your warehouse if the layout is fluid and you tend to move things around often. Paint, on the other hand, is perfect for warehouses where the setup will never change. It also offers a more polished look and durability.
Have a Solid Plan
Regardless of which marking method you decide for, you will need to have a solid plan for the positioning of the markings. It is never enough just to picture it in your head, you have to sketch it and see how it improves organization and efficiency in your facility.
Prepare the Space
You can’t just mark the lines in a few hours and start working right after. This especially goes if you have chosen to use permanent line marking paint, which requires a lot of time to apply properly and sometimes even more to dry. In fact, on average, it takes 24 hours for the paint to be dry enough to walk on it, but most paints can’t endure heavy traffic until after 72 hours. That is why you should suspend the operations at the warehouse. Just remember, regardless of which product you are using, the warehouse floors should be thoroughly cleaned prior to its application.
Mark the Space Before Marking the Lines
Another essential part of the preparation is pre-marking the places where the lines will go with a chalk line or a laser so that you make sure your tape or paint goes in a straight line. This will also help you spot some questionable layouts, analyze them and solve all the problems before you make a permanent mark.
Get the Most Out of Line Marking
Line marking can be used for so much more than just allowing enough clearance to move materials mechanically. You can use it to alert the workers and visitors to hazardous areas (toxic, electrical, tripping hazards…), mark storage areas and avoid confusion among workers, indicate proper tool storage, show exit routes, or for some everyday work communication, like smoking allowed areas.
Color Guidelines for Improved Safety and Efficiency
There are some basic recommendations for line marking the warehouse, and the most important of them include colors. The color of the line can help people interpret the signs better.
- Yellow: paths, work cells, traffic lanes, aisles
- White: machines, racks, benches, carts, equipment
- Red: defect
- Orange: energized equipment
- Green: finished goods
- Blue: raw materials
- Black: work in progress
- Black & yellow: physical or health hazards
- Red & white: areas that shouldn’t be accessed for safety reasons
- Black & white: areas that shouldn’t be accessed for operational purposes
Floor marking in your warehouse can significantly contribute to the safety of your employees and improve the efficiency of the work operations. However, it is not something you should take lightly. Consider carefully the color, position, material, and width of the floor marking lines.