Both highly visible and weather resistant, flagging tape is one of the most widely used products in construction and many other industries. It's bright colors often have a universal code in each industry creating a "visual shorthand" that saves time, money, and lives. Here are six of the most essential ways to use flagging tape:
ㆍSurveying. Flagging tape is used by surveyors to designate boundaries of land intended for a specific purpose. Because these markers often remain in place for months and even years while a project is in development, it is important that the color of the tape remains bright through the duration of the job. This is one of the hallmarks of flagging tape - it's color won't fade over time regardless of sun, wind, rain or other weather conditions.
ㆍForestry. Flagging tape is widely used in forestry to mark trees for various purposes. One color can indicate trees designated for logging and another to mark an unhealthy tree or one that may pose a potential hazard. Other colors are used to mark trails or other points of interest for visitors. Foresters can also use the tape to highlight animal habitats or alert people to hidden dangers.
ㆍDisasters. Emergency crews and first responders use flagging tape to relay information to crew members during a disaster. Red is used to indicate patients with serious injuries in need of immediate attention. Yellow denotes persons with serious, but non life-threatening conditions. Green conveys non-serious injuries that can wait for attention. And black is used to mark the deceased. The use of flagging tape for these types of emergency situations can truly save lives.
ㆍMining. In mining and other industries where safety is a primary factor, flagging tape is extremely useful in almost every step of the operation. It can marking reference points as well as identify drill holes to name just a few.
Hospitals. Flagging tape has multiple uses in a hospital environment. Hospital equipment is often color coded with flagging tape so that if is transported to another area of the hospital, it can be returned to the proper place. Medications are also tagged with different colored flagging tape to avoid patients receiving medication that may potentially be dangerous.
ㆍWildland Fire Suppression. Firefighters often lay flagging tape while walking to a wildfire - the purpose is twofold: it aids other firefighters in quickly locating the site and also helps them safely and easily find their way back.
To determine which tape to use, it’s important to consider the scope of the construction project and the area you’re taping off. For areas where there aren’t any potential safety hazards that simply need to be marked off for work crews and passersby, use flagging tape; for potentially dangerous areas, use barricade tape.
Keep in mind that:
ㆍYellow Caution Tape: is often used for situations where the area being marked off holds minimal safety risks. It’s more often used for cases where there will be extensive noise, equipment use, or construction in a highly-trafficked area.
ㆍRed Barricade Tape: Also known as “Do Not Enter” tape, red barricade tape is often used for scenarios where there are significant to high levels of safety or health hazards. It implies that no one should enter the taped-off area without a supervisor’s express permission. Often, the type of safety hazards this includes will be everything from oversized loads to risk of falling debris.
Make sure that every entrance to a hazardous area is marked off with the proper tape and ensure that, if using barricade tape, the label is clearly visible. Make certain the tape is secure and utilize poles, or cones for proper wrapping. Once the construction project is completed and there’s no longer a hazard or need to mark an area off, simply remove it.