The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), under direction of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), exists to protect workers from injury. Through its list of employer regulations, OSHA's goal is to create hazard-free work environments in all workplaces. One of these safety regulations requires colour-coded floor markings for various industries.
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Black and yellow is the OSHA standard for caution. This combination indicates a hazard that could cause stumbling, falling, tripping, or some other harmful reaction. The combination usually denotes a temporary condition. Deemed "Safety Yellow," used alone it is the official colour for caution. Yellow tape marks permanent aisles and passageways. OSHA requires all aisles be a minimum of four feet wide.
The use of black and white together indicates the presence of a boundary, such as a stairway or traffic aisle. Safety markings for potentially obstructive areas use striped tape on a bare floor where the boundary ends and the area becomes safe.
Red and white are the OSHA colours for fire safety. Areas that contain a fire extinguisher, alarm, exit, or hydrant must have clear safety markings on the floor with these colours. Floor markings correspond with marked walls showing the location of safety equipment.
Green is the OSHA safety colour. Marking the floor with green and white tape tells employees where to get the first aid kit and safety equipment such as protective gear.
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