Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (2024)

The benefits of color-coding your floors and pathways

Learn About Brady Toughstripe® Floor Marking Tape

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (1)Your shop floor sees a lot of action. It’s where your employees work, where your equipment lives and where your forklifts travel. It supports the constant motion of your workplace, day in and day out. But, the hustle and bustle of your shop floor can create ample opportunity for your employees to be injured.

An effective way to prevent potential injuries is by clearly marking permanent aisles and passageways with floor marking tape, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). However, an expanded floor marking system that incorporates Lean / 5S and visual workplace concepts, as well as standardizes color-coding, can improve both safety and efficiency.

Leaner, more efficient operations

A standardized floor marking color system helps employees associate certain colors with certain areas or actions. This helps them quickly and easily move around that facility to complete their tasks and find what they need. A color-coded floor marking system helps to:

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (2)

  • Emphasize important information. Using floor tape to highlight your facility’s aisleways and exit paths clearly identifies the safest path through the facility. This helps keep pedestrians and forklifts safe and provides quick egress guidance in an emergency.
  • Keep your facility organized by showing associations. For example, when you mark both a cart and the area the cart should be stored with the same color tape or paint, employees can easily associate when the cart is not in its intended location.
  • Provide critical information at the point of need. When hazards are consistently marked with bright colors (red / yellow) it provides critical safety information to employees directly at the point of need where it is more pertinent.
  • Increase employee efficiency, because employees spend less time looking for what they need. For example, when trying to locate a certain material storage area, knowing what color floor marking to look for helps you find it faster.

Regulations and industry standards

While several OSHA regulations dictate that permanent aisles and passageways must be clearly marked, there are no current government-mandated or even widely accepted industry standards that recommend what colors to use when marking floors.

However, when it comes to workplace visuals there are a number of relevant standards that require or imply the need for marking and color-coding:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Floor Marking Guidelines

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (3)

Use of Mechanical Equipment

§1910.176(a) Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances shall be allowed for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways and wherever turns or passage must be made. Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard. Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (4)

General Environmental Controls

§1910.144 Red shall be the basic color for the identification of fire protection equipment and apparatus, containers of flammable liquids, stop buttons and electrical switches used for emergency stopping of equipment.

§1910.144(a)(1) Red shall be the basic color for the identification of fire protection equipment and apparatus.

§1910.144(a)(3) Yellow shall be the basic color for designating caution and marking physical hazards.

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (5)

Means of Egress

§1910.35 OSHA will deem an employer demonstrating compliance with the exit route provisions of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, or the exit-route provisions of the International Fire Code (IFC), 2009 edition, to be in compliance with §1910.34, §1910.36 and §1910.37.

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (6)

Letter of Interpretation

§1910.22(b) The lines used to delineate 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. The recommended width of aisle markings varies from 2 in. to 6 in., therefore any width 2 in. or more is considered acceptable.

International Fire Code 2009

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (7)

§1024.1 Approved luminous egress path markings delineating the exit path shall be provided...having occupied floors located more than 75 ft. above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

§1024.2.1 A solid and continuous stripe shall be applied to the horizontal leading edge of each step and shall extend the full length of each step.

§1024.2.4 Perimeter and floor mounted demarcation lines shall be placed within 4 in. of the wall and extend to within 2 in. of the markings on the leading edge of landings. Demarcation lines shall be 1 in. to 2 in. wide with interruptions not exceeding 4 in.

Additional relevant standards

When it comes to workplace visuals, there are a number of relevant standards that require or imply the need for marking and color-coding:

ANSI color guide — safety signage

Some experts reference the ANSI Z535.1 Safety Color Code standard as a guide for floor marking. While earlier versions of the standard (ANSI Z353.1-1998) did include color specifications for specific types of safety hazards and equipment, these specifications were removed from the 2002 edition of the standard and no longer represent ANSI recommended best practices. Section 4.2 of the standard explicitly states that the specifications are intended for use on safety signage, not for floor marking.

OSHA color guide — hazards

Some experts also reference OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.144, the Safety Color Code for Marking Physical Hazards. However, these specifications are extremely limited in scope and are not designed to provide guidance on color usage when marking floors either. The standard states that red should be used to identify fire protection equipment, emergency stop devices and containers holding dangerous materials. Yellow should be used for marking physical hazards (such as striking against, stumbling, falling, tripping and caught-in-between hazards).

Floor marking color standards guide

With the right colors in the right places, you can easily keep workers on the right path and identify equipment, storage areas, hazardous areas, forklift traffic and more. Use as few colors as possible to make it easier for employees to remember the meaning of each color and reduce the number of floor marking products you need.

This color guide will help your floor marking be consistent in your workplace:


Aisle ways, traffic lanes and work cells.


Equipment and fixtures not otherwise color coded (workstations, carts, floor stand displays, racks, etc.)

Blue | Green | Black

Materials and components, including raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods


Materials or products held for inspection


Defects, scrap, rework and red tag areas


Steps and perimeter demarcation to identify egress routes in a lights-out emergency

Red and White Stripe

Areas to be kept clear for safety/compliance reasons (areas in front of electrical panels, firefighting equipment, and safety equipment)

Black and White Stripe

Areas to be kept clear for operational purposes (not related to safety or compliance standards)

Yellow and Black Stripe

Areas that may expose employees to physical or health hazards

Floor Marking Examples in a Facility

Aisle ways and traffic lanes

Work cells and equipment borders

Material storage areas

QA Inspection areas

Keep clear - Safety and compliance marking

Hazardous areas

Defects/scrap rework areas

Keep clear - Operational areas

Stair and Egress Marking

High Traffic Areas

Product Recommendations

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ToughStripe Floor Marking Tapes

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Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (21)

Floor Marking Guide

This guide includes color standards, bestpractices, OSHA regulations and more!

Floor Marking Guide

Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (22)

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Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (23)

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Floor Marking Color Code Guide | OSHA Standards (2024)


What are the OSHA guidelines for floor markings? ›

Floor marking lines must be at least 2" wide to ensure maximum visibility, though the agency recommends lines to be 2" to 6" wide. Aisles should be at least 4' wide, or at least 3' wider than the largest piece of equipment used in the aisle.

What is the color code for floor tape? ›

Blue, Green and/or Black – These colors are used on or around raw materials, finished goods and work-in-progress items that are being stored within a facility. Red & White – Red and white floor markings are for areas that need to be kept clear due to safety and/or compliance reasons.

What color floor liner for OSHA? ›

Blue/Green/Black Floor Markings - These colors are often used to identify raw materials. They can also be used for work-in-progress items within the facility. Red & White Floor Marking - A red and white-stripped floor marking tape is used to let people know that the area must be kept clear for emergency access.

Which OSHA regulation requires color coded signs? ›

1910.144 - Safety color code for marking physical hazards.

What is code for flooring? ›

NAICS Code: 238330 Flooring Contractors | NAICS Association.

What are the requirements of floors? ›

The functional requirements of a floor are:
  • Strength and stability.
  • Resistance to weather and ground moisture.
  • Durability and freedom from maintenance.
  • Fire safety – resisting spread and passage of fire.
  • Fire safety – providing stable support for occupants to evacuate.
  • Resistance to the passage of heat.

What color should floor register be? ›

Black registers and grilles are excellent in more modern spaces. Brown or tan registers and grills: A little more neutral than black, brown and tan registers look great in rooms with wood paneling. They also tend to blend better in more traditional homes.

What do the tape colors mean? ›

Pink – temporary survey markers. Red – electrical cables, lighting cables, etc. Orange – communication lines, cables, etc. Yellow – gas, oil, steam, petroleum and gaseous pipes. Green – sewers and drains.

What does yellow floor marking mean? ›

Yellow – Yellow markings are the standard for normal aisle ways as well as traffic lanes within a facility. They can also be used to designate work cells. White – White markings will designate where different equipment will be placed. This can include carts, trash cans, and other items.

What is Blue Label flooring? ›

Engineered Blue Label

Expect to see some planer marks, wormholes, small pinholes, open grain, and mineral streaks. These 8 ply, 1/2″ thick hardwoods have a 1/8″ veneer top, one of the thickest in the industry – and it is made in the United States!

What are the OSHA standards? ›

OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. There are four groups of OSHA standards: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture. (General Industry is the set that applies to the largest number of workers and worksites).

What color are the painted lines on the floor that define a work area? ›

Work areas and work cells are usually marked off with solid yellow floor tape. Employers might also lump in white floor tape with this as many objects and their proper locations may be labeled with this color.

What are color code standards? ›

Color coding in the workplace mainly concerns the safety and disaster preparedness of the workforce. The concept consists of assigning different colors to indicate various risks, dangers, and safety hazards either up-close or from a distance (even when vision is compromised and reading safety signs could be difficult).

Does OSHA require color coding? ›

While the standard does not specifically mandate colors to be used on accident prevention tags, the following color scheme is recommended by OSHA for meeting the requirements of this section: "DANGER" - Red, or predominantly red, with lettering or symbols in a contrasting color.

What is OSHA red color code? ›

Red – indicates (1) danger, (2) stop or (3) presence of fire protection equipment. Orange – marks the dangerous parts of machines or energized equipment which may cut, crush, shock or injure employees.

What is the formula for flooring? ›

To do so, use a tape measure to determine the room's length and width. Then multiply the length by the width to get your square footage. For instance, if the room is 12 feet wide and 12 feet long, you will need enough flooring for 144 square feet (12×12=144).

How do you number floors? ›

Floors are numbered using a 1-digit standard starting with '1' for the first floor and continue up for every floor above (e.g., 2=second floor, 3=third floor). In case a building has 10 floors or more, 2-digit numbers can be used.

How are floors classified? ›

Materials almost always classified as floor covering include carpet, area rugs, and resilient flooring such as linoleum or vinyl flooring. Materials commonly called flooring include wood flooring, laminated wood, ceramic tile, stone, terrazzo, and various seamless chemical floor coatings.

What is the standard floor to floor height? ›

The height of each storey in a building is based on ceiling height, floor thickness, and building material — with a general average of about 14 feet.

What is floor certification? ›

Floor Score Certified

FloorScore® is the most recognized indoor air quality (IAQ) certification standard for hard surface flooring materials, adhesives, and underlayments. It was developed by SCS with the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), and SCS is the exclusive certification body.

What color should floor boards be? ›

It's hard to predict what styles and wood floor colors will be popular in years to come. With this in mind, you might avoid hot trends and stick to the timeless look of warm, neutral browns. Almost all types of wood flooring will look great when you choose to stick with a shade of brown.

What is the standard floor register? ›

Standard register sizes in most homes' HVAC systems are typically 4" x 10", 6" x 10", 4" x 12", or 6" x 12", or at least those that are typically placed in mid-sized rooms like dining areas or bedrooms. Smaller rooms like hallways or bathrooms most likely have smaller-size registers.

What is the most popular floor color? ›

If you have been following flooring trends at all for the last 5 -7 years, then you will know that gray took first place in popularity over any other color for wood & laminate flooring.

What does red tape on the floor mean? ›

Red floor marking tape usually means caution or warns of forbidden areas.

What does green tape mean in construction? ›

Green is the universal color of the environment and nature in general but it conveys a different picture altogether when used in marking tapes. This is a color that signifies sanitary system under construction, undergoing revamping or being worked on. It may also be used to indicate drainage lines or sewerage system.

What does red tape mean in construction? ›

Red Danger Tape Indicates:

There is a safety and health concern of an immediate or high potential degree in the area. Some of these immediate dangers could include overhead loads, suspended loads, work being performed overhead, high noise exposure, open holes, fall protection required, confined space entry and more.

What does black and yellow tape on the floor mean? ›

Floor Marking. Black and yellow hazard tape/barricade tape is one of the most well-known color combinations in all industries. Primarily used to alert employees about using caution in certain areas, or even prohibiting entry, this kind of tape is ubiquitous in the safety world.

Do wet floor signs have to be yellow? ›

Wet floor signs should use a color that increases visibility. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has designated yellow as the color to mark physical hazards and indicate caution. These signs usually have black writing and may incorporate stripes or checkers that are also black.

What does yellow paint mean in construction? ›

YELLOW: Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials. ORANGE: Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduits. BLUE: Potable, Water. GREEN: Sewers and Drain Lines.

What is a classic floor color? ›

There are two classic and timeless colours that you should consider. Pale and medium brown. Basically, make sure there is no grey or taupe in the floors you're choosing. Which one you should choose, though, depends on the style of your home.

What does Joanna Gaines use for flooring? ›

As part of a Magnolia Homes new construction lead by home renovation TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, LIFECORE's Adella Rich Request was chosen as the 2,000 sq. ft home's primary flooring of choice.

What is Z flooring? ›

Z Floor is a leading commercial floor removal, repair, and demolition company specializing in a wide range of flooring services.

What are 5 OSHA standards? ›

Examples of OSHA standards include require- ments to provide fall protection, prevent trenching cave-ins, prevent exposure to some infectious diseases, ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces, prevent exposure to such harmful substances as asbestos and lead, put guards on machines, provide respirators or ...

What are 10 most cited OSHA standards? ›

OSHA's Top 10 Safety Violations 2022
  • 1 Fall Protection–General Requirements – 5,260 citations. ...
  • 2 Hazard Communication – 2,424 citations. ...
  • 3 Respiratory Protection – 2,185 citations. ...
  • 4 Ladders – 2,143 citations. ...
  • 5 Scaffolding – 2,058 citations. ...
  • 6 Lockout/Tagout – 1,977 citations. ...
  • 7 Powered Industrial Trucks – 1,749 citations.
Nov 1, 2022

What are the 4 types of OSHA compliance? ›

What do the OSHA Standards Say? OSHA standards fall into four categories: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture.

What are the 5S colors? ›

Typical 5S Color Standards:
YellowAisles, Traffic lanes, Walkways, Machine Guards, Work cells
OrangeInspection or temporary storage locations
RedDefects, Scrap, Rework, Red tag areas
GreenFinished goods, Safety Equipment
BlueRaw materials, Inventory, Inspection points
4 more rows

What are the 9 safety colors? ›

The color of safety
  • Red: Fire protection equipment. Danger, high risk of injury or death. ...
  • Orange: Moderate risk of injury. Guarding devices.
  • Yellow: Caution statements. Minor risk of injury. ...
  • Green: Safety equipment or information. ...
  • Blue: No immediate hazard.
  • Red – combustible materials.
  • Yellow – oxidizers.
  • White – poison or toxic.
Jan 17, 2011

What is red and white color marking used for? ›

Red & White Floor Tape

Any area that must be kept clear for safety or compliance. Areas around fire extinguishers, emergency eyewash stations, electrical panels, or fire lanes.

How many standard color codes are there? ›

HTML used to recognize 16 color names ("black", "white", "gray", "silver", "maroon", "red", "purple", "fushsia", "green", "lime", "olive", "yellow", "navy", "blue", "teal", and "aqua"), but new browsers can recognize 147 CSS3 color names.

How do you color code properly? ›

The 5 Color-Coding Tips You Need To Know
  1. Use Bright Colors. ...
  2. Be Consistent. ...
  3. Only Use Color With The Most Important Information. ...
  4. Distinguish Between Main Ideas And Smaller Details. ...
  5. Avoid Using Too Many Colors.
Aug 9, 2019

What are the guidelines for using color? ›

Color Guidelines
  • Use color conservatively. ...
  • Limit the number of colors. ...
  • Recognize the power of color as a coding technique. ...
  • Reinforce common expectations about color. ...
  • Ensure that color coding supports the task. ...
  • Design for monochrome first. ...
  • Use color to help in formatting. ...
  • Be consistent in color coding.

Why is color code necessary? ›

Color-coding can help with issues other than cross-contamination. For instance, keeping the workplace organized is one way color-coding can be helpful, because it helps keep confusion at a minimum. For a facility that has many employees, color-coding can help keep track of tools in a particular work area.

Why color coding is necessary in the workplace? ›

Colors indicate at a glance the nature of hazards and levels of danger. Color coding is a brilliant safety idea because workers can tell at a glance—almost without thinking—that they're facing a hazard and how bad that hazard is. That's why OSHA requires color coding.

What workplace labeling system is permitted by OSHA? ›

OSHA will allow the NFPA and HMIS rating systems to be used on the labels if it does not contradict or cast doubt on the information required by the HCS.

What are the 4 colors on the safety labels? ›

Yellow – The color yellow is used for flammable liquids or gases. Brown – The color brown is used for any combustible liquids or gases. Orange –The color orange is for toxic and/or corrosive solutions. Red – The color red is for fire-quenching liquids or solutions.

What OSHA color code is blue? ›

The RGB values for Behr OSHA 1 Osha Safety Blue are 0, 89, 131 and the HEX code is #005983.

Does OSHA require floor markings for fire extinguishers? ›

Whether a facility uses wall signs, floor markings, or other visual communications options, it is important to remember that it is necessary to use some type of signage. OSHA requires that facilities make fire extinguishers visible and easy to access at all times.

What is 5S floor marking? ›

5S floor marking is an implementation system that optimizes productivity through an organized workplace utilizing visual markings. Today, we utilize 5S floor markings not only for organizational purposes, but also for good safety practices.

How do you mark a warehouse floor? ›

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to mark your warehouse floors, then using floor tape provides the best option. It is also easier to modify floor markings if you use tape.

How to do floor marking? ›

Determine floor marking tape colors and other supplies based on inventory, traffic flow patterns, areas needing specific boundaries for safety, height, available light in the facility and corporate logos. Load up applicator with floor marking tape. Apply tape. Clean with damp mop.

Does OSHA require wet floor signs? ›

The wet floor sign isn't just a courtesy, it's required by law. According to the liable premises law, business owners are responsible for warning or preventing any foreseeable hazards that might endanger the safety of people on-premises.

Should you have a fire extinguisher on every floor? ›

Keep at least one fire extinguisher on every floor of your home, including the basem*nt and attic, if you have them. Fires can start anywhere at any time in your home. Whether it's faulty wiring or an unattended candle, fires can start in unexpected locations.

What does 6S and 5S mean? ›

5S (or 6S) technique explained

5S (or 6S) denotes 6 key steps in process improvement: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, sh*tsuke and Safety (Tran, 2016). The steps are explained below. Sort (Seiri): The 1st step in 5S (or 6S) improvement process is to sort out the workplace and identify necessary and unnecessary items.

What is 4S & 5S? ›

It means to form the habit of always following the first four S's. The Japanese word sh*tsuke means commitment. 4S / 5S can be introduced into any organization at practically any time. But it crucial to follow a very careful path.

Which paint is best for floor marking? ›

We use Epoxy paints to provide a high performance, smooth and more durable surface that can with stand heavy loads. We provide excellent floor marking services all over India for factories, schools, hospitals, service centers, godowns, car parkings, safety zones, tennis courts, and much more.

What is the purpose of lines painted on the floor? ›

There are many types of floor markings including tape, signs, words, symbols, and more. To put it simply, floor markings are important because they are so effective at informing people in the area of what they need to be doing. This is done through visual communication.

What do the yellow painted areas on a shop floor represent? ›

OSHA color guide — hazards

Yellow should be used for marking physical hazards (such as striking against, stumbling, falling, tripping and caught-in-between hazards).

What Colour should walkways be painted? ›

Tip. Traffic routes, including pedestrian walkways, should be marked with continuous lines, preferably of yellow or white, but you should take the ground colour into account.

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