Painting Safety Lines, Following OSHA Guidelines for Floor Marking

Paint safety lines OSHA guidelines floor markings

It may seem kind of dull or unimportant, but those painted yellow lines you see on warehouse, store, factory and other floors are anything but unimportant. In fact, safety lines are essential for the safety of employees who work in those buildings. OSHA regulations require commercial facilities to clearly mark all permanent aisles and passageways, or else pay the price of a violation and a fine.

“One of the top OSHA violations is “Walking/Work Surface Violations,” with an average fine of $1,632 per individual violation."

OSHA can issue this pretty steep fine “when areas where employees’ walk/work areas are not clearly marked to identify safe pathways or highlight dangerous areas.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has basic color and width guidelines for floor marking, also called “safety lines,” shown in detail below.

 In addition to the established OSHA guidelines for floor marking, professionally painted safety lines can help prevent one of the four top safety risks. “Making sure people are aware of the risk by using safety signs or floor markings is a useful OSHA recommendation for minimizing the risk of this type of accident when someone is working around a moving vehicle and a hard wall or other heavy equipment.”

 Here are a few guidelines for marking safety lines on industrial floors.

Mark Permanent Aisles and Passageways

When dealing with products that need to be moved in large quantities, it can be helpful to create aisles in your facility by painting safety lines to designate where products should be placed. It can clear up confusion with your employees and help to keep your facility running smoothly by allowing people and products to “stay in their lane” throughout the facility.

 Clearly Mark Traffic Flow Areas

If your warehouse uses large pieces of equipment, having safety lines painted will help direct traffic flow and help your employees operate equipment more safely and efficiently. Having designated areas for things such as forklifts, pallet jacks and rolling racks can keep collisions from happening and make sure there is no room for any accidents caused by improper marking of workspaces.

Create Employee-Only Areas

If you work with hazardous or dangerous materials, or even in areas with products on high shelving, creating employee-only areas can help to ensure the safety of your customers as well. This will keep your customers well-informed of the areas they are safe, such as lunchrooms and restrooms, as well as places they should steer clear.

Paint Safety Lines as Exit Guides

If you’ve ever visited an unfamiliar commercial building, you can imagine how difficult it can be for a visitor to find an exit in an unmarked building if there is an emergency. You can help make sure that everyone in your facility can leave the building quickly and safely in an emergency situation by painting safety lines to clearly designate exits and exit routes.

Painting safety lines should be an obvious step in your planning for the safety features of your building. While the OSHA regulations for floor markings provide basic guidelines, deciding where exactly to place the lines, the width, color, and all related decisions may be better left to a painting professional. Reach out and let us know about your commercial facility’s floor markings, and how we can help you ensure employee safety in your company.



OSHA Guidelines

OSHA Standard Number 1910.22(b) states the following:

  • The lines used to delineate the aisles may be any color so long as they clearly define the area considered as aisle space. The lines may be composed of dots, square, strip or continuous, but they too must define the aisle area.
  • The recommended width of aisle markings varies from 2 inches to 6 inches; therefore, any width 2 inches or more is considered acceptable.
  • The recommended width of aisles is at least 3 feet wider than the largest equipment to be utilized, or a minimum of 4 feet.

OSHA Standard Number 1910.144 describes the use of two colors, red for danger and yellow for caution.  Link: