Aisle Marking Tape Guidelines

Published: 09th August 2010
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dubiously renowned for its propensity to issue all sorts of guidelines and regulations for even the smallest, most insignificant details, has much to say about every little thing that goes on in an industrial facility. A stairwell that measures an inch too long, a containment system that falls slightly short of the prescribed standard even if it works perfectly fine for the enterprise in question, or the collecting of a small puddle near a walkway, are all things that OSHA agents do enjoy pouncing on. Still, it is difficult to argue that the overall objective of OSHA is to preserve and protect employee welfare, and thus, businesses do their best to comply with the pages and pages of rules that govern every aspect of their operations. As far as this extends to places like factories and warehouses, a significant portion of keeping things organized, and thus, safe, lies with how one lays out the aisle marking tape in the building. As expected, OSHA has provided us with a number of requirements and recommendations for just this particular concern.

One of the fundamental rules of OSHA with regard to the marking of aisles is simply that they have to be marked. It doesn't matter if the method is with straight lines, broken segments or dots, so long as the aisle is clearly delineated. Thus, the aisle marking tape can be cut up to save tape, or simply laid out to avoid any hassle. The aisles themselves also have to meet a set of minimum widths, depending on what the aisle is supposed to be used for. In all cases, the width of a regular pathway is supposed to be at least 4 feet wide, or 3 feet wider than the width of the largest object that is expected to pass through it, whichever is wider. These are the guidelines for general access passages. Sub-aisles, or corridors within sections that are not meant for being traversed by human and mechanical traffic on a regular basis, have less stringent standards. For instance, emergency exit access routes ought to be at least 2 feet and 4 inches wide, while those that allow ingress and egress to rooms that contain objects likely to catch fire need to be at least 3 feet wide. It isn't the most comfortable or spacious of arrangements, but at least the risk of being trampled while trying to escape a section or the building itself is relatively low.

While aisle measurements are regulations that demand compliance, the color coding schemes for the aisle marking tape are merely recommendatory in nature. Still, it doesn't hurt to consider adopting them, if only for the fact that the system has gained widespread acclaim and many companies use it to promote uniformity. A standard color legend makes communication and identification of what the marking tape is supposed to represent much easier, so that instead of having to read a whole bunch of words, a worker can simply cast his gaze for a few seconds at the color of the tape, and immediately be made aware of the situation at hand.

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