Floor markings - regulations, implementation and alternatives

Floor markings are a simple but extremely effective method of optimizing work processes and increasing safety on company premises. They serve as visual guidelines to distinguish the functions of different areas and guide the movement of employees and vehicles.

Increasing importance of floor marking due to automation

The use of floor markings can also serve to optimize routes for vehicles and industrial trucks and clearly separate pedestrians and automated guided vehicles. By marking lanes and loading and unloading zones, the implementation of automated guided vehicles is simplified, which ultimately leads to smoother traffic management, a safer working environment for employees and time savings in day-to-day operations and implementation.

Floor marking

Relevant regulations and directives

To improve occupational safety and prevent accidents, international and national standards and guidelines apply when planning floor markings. Internationally, there is ISO 7010 “Graphical symbols – Safety colors and safety signs – Registered safety signs”. In the EU, Directive 92/58/EEC “Minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work” also applies. In Germany, the Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) must be complied with in conjunction with the Technical Rules for Workplace Directive (ASR). In particular, the requirements for floor markings are defined in ASR A1.8 “Traffic routes”, ASR A1.3 “Safety and health protection signage” and ASR A2.3 “Escape routes and emergency exits, escape and rescue plan” and can be summarized as follows.

ASR 1.3 Safety and health protection labeling

  • Minimum width of floor markings 5 cm for traffic routes
  • Marking of traffic routes in yellow or white
  • Stationary danger points in yellow/black stripes
  • Temporary danger points in red/white stripes
  • Definition of safety markings
  • Definition of font sizes

ASR 1.8 Traffic routes

  • Requirements for traffic and footpaths
  • Determining the width of traffic and footpaths
  • Demarcation of traffic and footpaths
  • Requirements for stairs and ramps

ASR 2.3 Escape routes and emergency exits

  • General requirements for marking and recognizability
  • Requirements for marking main escape routes
  • Optical safety guidance systems

In addition to the legal requirements, internal work regulations and standards may exist for the interpretation of production and management reports.

Design options for floor markings

There are different application methods, types or color schemes of floor markings that serve different purposes depending on the application area and needs. The most common method of applying floor markings is by paint and roller. Alternatives are spray cans, adhesive tape or screwed-on plastic or metal plates. The latter is mainly used for marking parking spaces. The width of the lines with spray cans and paint is 10 cm and with adhesive tape, widths of 5/ 7.5 or 10 cm are possible. Factors such as robustness, cost, effort and the area of application play a decisive role in the selection. The types of floor markings can be categorized as follows:

Floor marking
  1. Line markings: This type of floor marking consists of straight or curved lines and is often used to mark traffic routes, walkways, lanes and boundaries in warehouses.
  2. Signposts and arrows: Floor markings in the form of signposts and arrows guide pedestrians and vehicles through the warehouse and indicate the correct routes to avoid confusion and accidents.
  3. Hazard and warning markings: These markings are used to indicate danger areas, such as areas with slippery floors, potential tripping hazards or danger zones that require special care.
  4. Area markings: They are used to mark specific areas in the warehouse, such as storage locations, shipping areas, recreation rooms or emergency exits, to increase efficiency and better organize storage areas.
  5. Color coding: Colored floor markings help to distinguish different zones and functions in the warehouse. For example, certain colors could stand for different hazard classes or storage areas.
  6. Numbers and letters: Numeric and alphanumeric markers can be used to identify storage locations, shelf rows and items, making picking and inventory management easier.
  7. Reflektierende Markierungen: Reflektierende Bodenmarkierungen sind besonders nützlich in schlecht beleuchteten Umgebungen oder bei Nacht, da sie Licht reflektieren und somit die Sichtbarkeit verbessern.
  8. Dashed lines: Dashed lines are often used to indicate temporary or flexible areas that can change as needed.
  9. Text markings: Text markers can contain additional information such as warnings, instructions or safety instructions.
  10. Pictograms and symbols: Pictograms and symbols can be used for visual communication to illustrate certain activities, restrictions or regulations.

When selecting the color scheme, only the traffic and walkways (white or yellow), stationary danger points (yellow/black stripes) and temporary danger points (red/white stripes) are specified by the ASR. All other markings are assigned different colors and types on a customer-specific basis according to the requirements of the areas, the safety guidelines and the work processes. A well-thought-out combination of different floor markings helps to maximize efficiency, increase safety and improve warehouse management.

Procedure for applying floor markings and costs

The following procedure should be followed when applying marking lines:

  1. Clean the floor
  2. Measure the marking lines
  3. Mark out the marking lines and tape them on both sides
  4. Sanding the floor with a hand tool
  5. Apply primer
  6. Apply material to areas to be marked
  7. Remove adhesive tape

Costs: approx. 30€ per running meter

Alternatives to painted or glued floor markings

Modern LED projectors offer the possibility of dispensing with glued or painted adhesive strips on the floor. In fact, physical strips are often exposed to destruction or covered in dirt. As a result, they are often not easily visible and pose potentially high risks to worker safety. LED projectors, on the other hand, can project very intense beams of green, red, blue or yellow light onto the floor and, unlike conventional applications, are always clearly visible as they project onto the floor from above. The devices can be installed at a height of 3 to 12 meters.