Warehouses can be very busy places with people and vehicles constantly moving from place to place. Coordinating the different types of traffic throughout the facility can be a challenge. With the right strategy, however, you can manage warehouse traffic properly so that you are able to improve efficiency, improve safety, and cut back on many types of waste.
One of the best things that you can do for warehouse traffic management is to use floor markings. Floor markings can come in many different types including tape, paint, signs, and more. Taking the time to come up with a good floor marking strategy will help improve your facility’s performance dramatically.
Benefits of Floor Marking
Implementing a good floor marking strategy is going to provide your facility with a number of great benefits. No matter what methods you use for floor marking, you will find that this is a very inexpensive option that will make many improvements to your facility. The following are some of the biggest reasons why companies invest in good floor markings.
Improving Facility Safety
Improved safety is typically going to be at the top of the list of reasons why warehouses use floor markings. Making sure that traffic is properly directed throughout the area will help to avoid any types of accidents or injuries that can result from indoor vehicles traveling throughout the area.
Forklift accidents, for example, result in 1 of every 6 workplace deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. Many of these incidents are the result of forklifts and pedestrians traveling in the same area. Using floor markings, you can make it clear where people should be walking, and where forklifts and other vehicles should be driving. Keeping them separate will help to reduce the risk of accidents from occurring.
Of course, there are many other ways that floor markings can improve your safety. Adding markings on the floors to guide people out of the facility during an emergency, for example, could help to save lives.
Directing Traffic for Improved Efficiency
Properly marked floors will help to direct all types of traffic throughout the warehouse. This will help to minimize the amount of wasted traveling people do in the facility. Excess movement of people and inventory is a huge source of waste throughout most warehouses.
By optimizing the paths that are taken whenever someone or something is being moved within a facility, it will ensure everything gets where it needs to go when it needs to be there. This will help to ensure operations can continue without interruption.
In addition to directing traffic throughout the facility, floor markings can also be used to identify where various things belong. For example, many warehouses will use floor marking tape to create an outline of where each of their forklifts needs to be parked when not in use. By doing this, everyone knows where the forklifts are located when they are needed.
Using floor markings to reserve different areas of the facility for storing different things is a great way to improve organization. It also helps to keep people and vehicles from going into areas that are generally used for storage, which can cut back on the risk of damage to inventory and other items.
Types of Floor Markings
There are three basic types of floor markings that a facility can use. Knowing about each of these options will help you to be able to select the right one for the right situation. Of course, one facility will often use more than one of these types of floor markings based on what is appropriate for each place.
Floor Marking Tape
Floor marking tape is one of the most commonly used options for directing warehouse traffic. It is very inexpensive, comes in many colors, and can be installed very easily. When it comes to managing traffic, it is especially effective since you can create long straight lines with the tape, which function similar to the lines on a road.
Once the floor marking tape is installed, both pedestrians and vehicle operators will know that they need to stay within the markings whenever going through an area. While it is always good to train people on the meanings of various types of floor marking tape, most people will quickly understand its purpose.
Floor Marking Signs
Floor marking signs are similar to tape in that they are applied by sticking them to the floor. Rather than straight pieces of tape, however, the signs can be any type of shape. These signs are used to convey a wide range of different types of information that is used for people traveling through a warehouse.
For example, you can get a floor marking sign that is a stop sign. This will obviously let all forklifts and other vehicles know that they need to stop at a particular spot in order to check for traffic or people coming from another direction.
You can purchase any number of different pre-made floor marking signs based on their popularity. It is also possible to create custom floor marking signs when you need a sign that says something specific for your facility.
Floor Marking Paint
Floor marking paint is another popular option. This type of paint can be applied to most any type of hard flooring surface, and functions similar to floor marking tape. The paint is typically applied using a sprayer that will allow you to create long straight lines not unlike tape.
If you want to use floor marking paint to convey more complex information, you can also purchase stencils. These can be used to make letters, shapes, symbols, and other things wherever they are needed throughout the facility.
Floor Marking Color Standards
No matter what type of floor markings you are using to manage the traffic in your warehouse, it is important to take advantage of the various color options. Just like with public roads, there are many benefits associated with using multiple different colors.
There are some standard floor marking colors that are used throughout most facilities. In addition to those, however, you can also come up with your own uses for various colors. Some common floor marking color standards include the following:
- Yellow Markings – These are typically used to mark off lanes or boundaries within which a vehicle should remain.
- White Markings – White is usually reserved for identifying where specific items or obstacles are located. Things like trash cans, carts, and more.
- Blue Markings – Blue is most commonly used for identifying places where materials that are used in the production process will be kept.
These are just three of the most common examples of how colors can be used in your floor marking strategy. You can come up with your own colors for use in situations within your facility.
Whenever using specific colors, patterns, or designs to convey a specific message, however, it is important to ensure that everyone is trained on this meaning. Providing everyone in the facility with this type of training will help ensure that the various colors used in your floor marking strategy will be properly understood rather than just causing more confusion.
Floor Marking Maintenance
All types of floor markings are designed to be very durable and long lasting. This is important since warehouse environments can be very harsh thanks to the constant foot traffic, vehicle traffic, dragging of forklifts, and more. Whether you are using paint, tape, signs, or a combination of all three, it is important to ensure that your floor markings are always easily visible.
Choosing the Right Markings
This should start by selecting the right type of marking for a given area. For example, if you are going to be using floor markings near an entrance where it is possible for snow, water, or other moisture to get in, you will want to make sure to use waterproof paint, water resistant tape, and other materials that can get wet. In areas where heavy machinery may be traveling, using the extra durable types of floor marking tape will help the markings to last as long as possible.
Cleaning Floor Markings
Warehouses can get very dirty, which can make it difficult to see them. Keeping the markings clean should be something that the maintenance team does on a regular basis. All types of floor markings can be cleaned using normal floor cleaners. That can include traditional mopping, wiping down the area with a cloth, or even using floor washing machines.
Repair or Replace Floor Markings
While floor markings are very durable and long lasting, they will eventually be damaged and need to be fixed. Making sure to repair or replace floor markings as soon as they are damaged will help ensure that they remain easily visible and effective throughout your facility.
Creating Your Own Floor Marking Strategy for Warehouse Traffic
While it may seem like a lot of information to learn about is available when it comes to floor marking for warehouse traffic, a lot of it is going to be easy to understand. Putting in the effort to create a custom strategy that will have your warehouse get the most benefits from floor markings will help ensure your facility as safe and efficient as possible.
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- Industrial Floor Tape vs. Industrial Floor Paint– infographicsdirectory.org
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- Floor Marking in Warehouses and How to Get the Best Tapes– heavydutyfloortape.com