The one common factor in all warehouses is a busy environment with both foot and vehicle traffic. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that “Every workplace should be organised so that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely. You can achieve separation by keeping pedestrians and vehicles well clear of one another, ideally using completely different routes.”
To ensure compliance with the law and prevention of accidents, warehouse walkways provide an ideal solution to the potential health and safety issues for staff working inside a warehouse.
Designated walkways and safety
In order to segregate vehicle traffic from pedestrians in a warehouse environment it is essential to have clearly marked walkway lanes. These walkways guide personnel safely around the warehouse using designated routes to avoid any risk of collision with fast moving trucks or machinery.
Highly visible walkways are vitally important not only for the safety of staff but also for the efficient operation of the facility. They reduce employee search time and energy, making it easy to navigate through a warehouse.
Warehouse walkways are also proven to maximise and utilise space effectively. They are positioned in the most appropriate areas to allow staff to use the best direct pedestrian routes, ensuring their protection whilst increasing productivity on site.
Fast-drying, durable warehouse walkways
The Rapidshield paint system used by inotec for line marking warehouse walkways makes use of a water based paint that dries quickly and has no odour. A clear, ultra-violet coating is applied on top of the colour coat and is instantly cured using a high powered ultra-violet light. This results in a hardened painted surface which is extremely durable to withstand the heaviest of traffic.
With a fast drying time, installing walkways using this method ensures minimum downtime and disruption.
Ultra-violet cured walkways are resilient to fading or damage that can be caused by forklift traffic or harsh chemicals used for cleaning. As a result this type of walkway is easy to maintain, remains highly visible for longer than conventionally applied paint and will last up to five years under normal site conditions.
Versatility of walkways
Warehouse walkways can be marked out either by tramlines or by a solid infill pathway. To enhance visibility, walking men stencils are often applied to the floor area within walkways, highlighting where it is safe to walk.
Infill pathways are more visible than traditional tramlines, painted in a solid colour, often enhanced by an outline painted in a different colour.
Emergency exit pathways can be indicated by line marked walkways and black and white zebra crossings can be installed to mark safe personnel crossing areas.
Walkway replacements and redesign
To minimise the need for frequent walkway replacements and guarantee their lifespan, it is necessary to use quality materials for warehouse line marking together with a specialist contractor to carry out the paintwork. This is the best way to avoid potentially costly or hazardous mistakes.
Low grade walkways can quickly become worn and need to be repainted or repaired, often on a yearly basis. This causes downtime to areas of the warehouse which is highly disruptive and costly. It can also lead to overcoating of the walkway which results in reduced visibility as well as being a possible trip hazard.
The higher quality solutions are specifically designed to be robust and durable with a smooth edge and a non-slip finish. They can be used on a wide range of surfaces and environments, including those in ambient, chilled or even sub-zero locations. Special paint is applied which will adhere and cure properly, even at low or extreme temperatures.
Warehouse walkways can be modified to meet the changing needs within a facility. A fast turnaround replacement is usually sought and by using an ultra-violet cured solution this ensures that the area to be repainted can be handed back to the warehouse operatives within a working day.
Pets at Home case study
Ben Ainsworth, Site Services Contract Manager for Pets at Home, “It is essential that our busy colleagues can easily and safely navigate their way through the large fulfilment centre and inotec’s infill walkways make the pedestrian routes absolutely clear.”
Warehouse walkways improve operational efficiencies
Warehouse walkways are designed to reinforce health and safety procedures by ensuring there are clearly marked routes separating vulnerable pedestrians from fast moving truck traffic.
Keeping pedestrians and truck operators segregated not only prevents accidents but also improves the efficiency of warehouse operations.