Facility managers should always consider safety and how to improve it. Striping and guardrails are two ways you keep you work environment safe. They designate areas for certain types of activity and act as barriers for preventing people and vehicles from entering areas they shouldn’t. Warehouse guardrails can also prevent falls along elevated surface edges or other unsafe places.

How warehouse safety guardrails can be used

Warehouse guardrails are incredibly versatile safety devices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires fall protection for walking-working surfaces with unprotected edges that are four or more feet above the next lower surface. The organization recommends guardrail systems as one way to prevent falls.

Some examples of walking-working surfaces include:

  • Loading docks.
  • Mezzanines.
  • Wall openings, such as where chutes are installed.
  • Ramps and runways.
  • Holes in the walking surface, including skylights on a roof.

Guardrail systems also create a visual and physical barrier for areas of a warehouse with dangerous equipment or hazardous supplies, such as chemicals or batteries. Guards can also protect critical infrastructure, like racking systems or doors, from sustaining damage in the event of a forklift accident.

Where to use warehouse floor striping

Striping is similar to guardrails in that it creates a clear boundary between areas meant for different types of activities.

In a busy warehouse where forklifts and pedestrians work in tandem, walking-only and driving-only lanes keep workers safe. They also help employees navigate the warehouse better by charting the most efficient course from one point to another.

Warehouse line striping also provides a clear border around storage areas, such as those reserved for forklifts or certain types of inventory. In some areas, having fixed rails at a drop-off doesn’t make sense. If items are frequently loaded or unloaded from the area, it’s better to have a removable barrier. But even with removable barriers, workers must still be able to easily see where the drop-off is. By marking the edge with bright yellow paint or floor tape, you can increase visibility and help employees stay aware of the end of the working surface.

How to maintain guardrails and stripes

There’s a good reason why striping and warehouse guardrail systems are usually bright colors. Bold yellows and oranges are eye-catching and hard to miss, which is sort of the point. You want guardrails and lanes that stand out and constantly remind employees of the different boundaries and safety concerns at play in their immediate working area.

But like any other painted object, guardrails and lane lines can fade in time. Areas with a lot of foot or lift truck traffic can strip lane lines in a matter of weeks, leaving a messy-looking facility floor that doesn’t give clear direction one where pedestrians and drivers should go. After all, brightness is part of what makes striping and guardrails so effective. It’s important that facility managers take note when rails and stripes begin to dull or flake. When this happens, they should prioritize repainting or replacement.

When it’s time for new guardrails, facility managers may benefit from a comprehensive facility walk-through. If the facility has changed, even in small ways, since the last time guardrails were installed, they may find new areas where these safety systems could help greatly.

For advice on when to replace guardrails, which models to choose and where to install them, reach out to Miner. Our brand-agnostic professionals will give you unbiased advice on how to get the most out of guardrails.