OSHA Regulations 1910:22 and 1920:144 apply to marking permanent aisles and traffic ways.
(Please visit OSHA’s official site for further clarification – www.osha.gov )
- A violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A penalty must be proposed and can range up to $7,000 per serious violation.
- A violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found. Repeated violations can bring penalties of up to $70,000.
OSHA regulations are not very specific when it comes to requirements for a facility’s permanent aisles and passageways. By making general statements, OSHA allows employers the freedom to set up aisles to best accommodate the functions of their facility. The following are some basic guidelines that you are required to meet.
OSHA Aisle Marking
The regulations require that permanent aisles and passageways must be marked, but do not define how it should be done. A common method for marking is by using yellow paint or stripes. OSHA designates yellow as the “caution” color, to be used for marking physical hazards such as stumbling, falling or tripping. Painted yellow lines are usually recognized as the most convenient and inexpensive way to mark aisles since the lines normally last several years before repainting is necessary. Where painted floor markings are impractical, other methods that can be used include marking pillars, powder stripping, flags, traffic cones or barrels.
ANSI Z535.2 Safety Color Code also defines “safety yellow” as the identification of CAUTION. It requires the use of solid yellow for maximum contrast with the particular background and it designates yellow as the preferred method for traffic markings.
There is not a “one-size-fits-all” width for aisles and passageways in the OSHA standard, but there are requirements in some specific instances. These include requirements that aisles be at least three feet wide inside storage rooms containing flammable and combustible liquids, and that 28 inches is the minimum width for emergency exit access.
OSHA’s general requirement for aisles and passageways is that “sufficient safe clearances” must be provided where mechanical equipment is used. The width will vary depending upon how the aisle is utilized in the workplace, as aisles that forklift trucks or other mechanical equipment use will need to be wider than aisles for pedestrian traffic.