Main image: RICS
Floors are probably the largest single surface in any workplace and as such have a major influence on both the aesthetics and productivity of the space. But first and foremost, the space or office must of course be safe and functional.
What is floor demarcation?
It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, the importance of good health and safety in the workspace is of paramount importance to ensure the safety of employees, contractors and customers.
It’s not always easy to ensure health and safety in a busy workplace as there’s always so much going on, but floor demarcation can help in a big way. There are a number of options when it comes to floor demarcation, such as using the company logo or the use of colour to indicate various levels of caution that must be adhered to. This is of specific importance in areas such as factories, workshops and manufacturing spaces.
Why is floor demarcation Important?
In any workplace, efforts must be made to always protect workers. Therefore it’s often a good idea to have demarcations and stencils added to specific areas. As well as helping everything to appear professional and high quality, floor demarcations have other impressive benefits.
• Resin floor demarcations can be used to highlight fire exits as well as showing workers where fire exits are located. Demarcations show areas that should remain clear in case of emergency.
• If there are many vehicles and people in a workplace, demarcations can be used to keep them separate by showing where traffic and vehicles are likely to be. This can help to cut down on collisions.
• Some industries have very specific health and safety rules, many of which require the use of floor demarcations. Floor demarcations add confidence that these rules are being met.
• Personal injury is relatively common in an industrial workplace, but floor demarcations can help to reduce this. When hazards are clearly shown, workers are able to avoid potential dangers.
Which flooring for which office zones?
The different areas of a working environment can be visually separated from each other if required or to suit one’s taste. One way to do this is to use a colour scheme.
A variation in the furniture or even the use of different flooring are options to consider. These not only create a visual demarcation, but also meet different requirements.
In the entrance area, it’s wise to choose a flooring that is not only resistant, but also representative. When it rains or snows, moisture is carried in with the shoes so the flooring should thus be resistant to water. An attractive look is not only advantageous for customers, but also for your own employees. After all, they should feel completely comfortable at their workplace.
A flooring with similar qualities should be laid in the area of the coffee machine and the kitchen. Everyone knows how easily a mishap can happen there and spilled tea or coffee should leave as few traces as possible.
Carpeting is very popular in functional areas dedicated to communication and concentration. This is understandable because of its sound-absorbing qualities and resistance to desk chair castors, for example. Alternatively, you can also use other flooring types such as wood or treated LVTs. However, a sound-absorbing cushion and other acoustic elements should be used as well. Ultimately, it’s important that the flooring is not only functional but also blends in well with the working environment.
Coronavirus demarcation of workplaces
Businesses operate across multiple sectors from construction through to industrial. Each sector has its own challenges and concerns where the construction sector has already been addressed by issuing COVID and social distancing RAMS and other supporting documents.
Next, are examples which will suit manufacturing businesses, including their office spaces, welfare areas and stores. This information is typically part of a larger risk management map used for clients to allow them to plan their response and re-occupation of their workplaces.
Demarcation for COVID, examples of good practice
The key issue here relates to maintaining the 2-metre rule for social distancing. Clients may have sufficient room for this within the workplace but there will be inevitable choke points within your premises and it is important to identify and manage these, examples being:
• Reception areas – no contact, have sanitiser ready.
• Signing in and out – remove biometric and paper sign-in, prop doors open if possible.
• Clocking in and out – non-contact options to be explored, facial recognition to be trialled.
• Stores and receipt and despatch of goods – drivers not to pass paperwork, use email or PO check off, driver stays in vehicle.
• Welfare areas.
• Toilets – single access.
• Canteens – remove chairs to reduce capacity, stagger breaks, keep teams together.
• Shared fridges – all staff bring in food with no trips to supermarkets, Tupperware containers cleaned and marked with name, removed at shift end.
• Water coolers – remove or sanitise regularly.
• Office kitchens – common contact points, review usage.
• Main entry and exit routes, walkways – one-way system marked to reduce contact potential.
• Muster areas in case of fire – consider your arrangements.
• Office desks – maintain distances, clear at end of the day for wipe down.
• Materials handling equipment – single user with clean down including the charging points.
It is clear that using demarcation on flooring requires consultation with a flooring specialist to ensure that each area of the office or workspace is adequately assessed and scoped. This is to ensure that the flooring is suitable for the expected function and safety requirements of each area.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to the www.flooringinc.com for the use of some of the information contained in this article.
Knowledge is power! Sign up for our newsletter: https://www.buildinganddecor.co.za/register/
Subscribe to our free magazine on http://tiny.cc/fwsubs or join other discussions on http://www.facebook.com/buildinganddecor, http://www.twitter.com/buildingdecor and https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/10172797/