OSHA Floor Marking Standards

Did you know one of the top OSHA violations is “Walking/ Work Surface Violations” with an average fine of $1,632 per individual violation? These violations are issued when areas where employees walk or work in areas that are not clearly marked to identify safe pathways or highlight dangers. OSHA Standard 1910.22 dictates that all companies mark these areas to prevent accidents.

Even though fines for violations can be common, few U.S. governmental regulations exist that apply specifically to floor marking. OSHA documents mention floor marking only twice, which can lead to confusion about the subject.

OSHA CFR 1910.22, titled “Walking- Working Surfaces,” reads simply: “Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.”

Aisleways are usually areas of high traffic and having them clearly marked can help keep workers safe from injury. Permanent markings should be used in aisles and passage ways and should be a clearly visible color. Whether you are laying down floor tape or painting lines, OSHA recommends using a width between two and six inches for maximum visibility.

OSHA has clarified in follow-up interpretations that while floor markings are usually the least expensive and most convenient way of meeting this requirement, other methods appropriate for marking aisles and passageways may be used. (A dirt floor, for example, would be practically impossible to paint or apply tape to.)

Floor Marking Color Guidelines

When it comes to the colors of floor markings, OSHA is not nearly as strict as they are with other color coded regulations, but they do offer some guidance. When physical hazards are identified for example, it needs to be marked either red or yellow. If you’re using floor tape to indicate a fire related hazard, you will want to choose red.

With no strict standards are floor marking colors, most follow the color combinations below; these are widely accepted and comply with any interpretation of OSHA or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) color codes. This scheme isn’t set by any specific law, so it can be modified to fit the needs of specific facilities. It is a useful starting point for most applications and if modified, post a color guide in a conspicuous location.

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