Join OSHA this month in celebrating National Ladder Safety Month. Each week will consist of a new toolkit talk on a different construction risk management topic to help you and your employees stay safe this spring and to help raise awareness on these topics. Week two we are going to discuss the topic of caution vs. danger barrier tape. These tapes and making a distinction between these tapes are important because they are one useful method in warning workers of the many hazards that exist on different job sites. While both of these tapes can be used, they don’t replace the need for other warning and protective measures that are necessary around the job site. These other measures can include: guardrails, fencing, concrete barriers, etc.

The most important thing to remember when deciding to use tape is that it should only be used for temporary hazards. Barrier tapes are intended for visual warnings usually made from vinyl or polyethylene. When using barrier tape, it should be placed so that it’s easily visible, allows workers sufficient time and distance to take corrective action, and it may need to be placed at several locations and heights to provide adequate warning. For long-term hazards, more permanent methods like guardrails and concrete barriers should be used to warn and protect workers. 

The difference between danger and caution tape is they warn against different severity of hazards. Danger tape is red with the word “DANGER” printed on the tape and is designed for the most hazardous conditions. It is used to warn workers that death or serious injury can occur if the barricaded area isn’t avoided. Caution tape is yellow with the word “CAUTION” [printed on the tape and is designed to warn workers about potentially hazardous conditions to avoid. It is used to warn workers that they may be slightly injured if the barricaded area isn’t avoided. It is important to be careful around both types of barricaded areas, but especially those marked with “DANGER.”

Follow these tips and make your employees aware of proper barrier tape use techniques to avoid fatal accidents. To learn more about OSHA’s National Ladder Safety Month or the different barrier tapes visit:

DII is your partner in worksite safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to educate your employees and keep everyone at the worksite safe while using ladders or other equipment. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #LadderSafety #OSHA #BarrierTape

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