Marking tape is used on construction projects, accident sites, and other unsafe situations to alert people to the presence of a danger or hazard. Unfortunately, the warnings indicated by these barricades are often ignored or missed entirely. In order to remain safe, it is essential for each of us to be aware of the warning signs around us on a daily basis.

Marking Tape Comes in Many Different Configurations

Marking tape, also known as barricade tape, is made with durable, resilient, tear-proof plastic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. Specialty tapes may be reinforced, biodegradable, or repulpable. The tape is intended to act as a minor impediment to prevent inadvertent entrance to an area or situation that may be unsafe. This product comes in long rolls in a variety of widths, and is brightly colored to attract attention, often incorporating a repeating string of words such as “Caution” or “Danger” in contrasting lettering to inform passersby of the nature of the hazard. Other printed messages can warn of specific hazards such as “Crystalline Silica” or “Asbestos” or be used in specific situations such as a “Crime Scene”. Custom messages can be printed as well.

Specific Products Serve Specific Needs

The bright color and lettering of marking tapes are there to make sure that the message is communicated in a consistent and uniform manner. We are used to seeing marking tape and other signage during roadwork or at construction sites. However, marking tape and other warning signs can also be used in other locations such as hospitals, schools, factories, and airports. Marking tape can also be useful in certain professions such as law enforcement, painting, mining, and utility work.

Barricade tape designs are required to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) regulations when used for purposes subject to regulation by these organizations. Hazard tape, for example, is available in different color combinations to indicate certain classes of threat. Yellow-black tape signals the presence of a physical hazard, such as a hole, while magenta-yellow denotes a radiation hazard in laboratories, production areas, or industrial zones. Tape for law enforcement, usually in a yellow-white, yellow-black, or blue-white color combination, is used to isolate, protect, and preserve a crime scene. Firefighter tape is used to isolate a particular area during or after a fire to keep the public away from fire-related risks such as smoke inhalation, airborne particulate matter, and damaged structures. And biohazard barricade marking tape is used in hospitals to give nurses, doctors, and other medical staff a clear, visible warning that they are near a biohazard area where appropriate safety procedures should be followed.

We All Need to Remain Vigilant to the Dangers Around Us

Of course, no amount of marking tape will prevent an accident – or even fatality – if people don’t remain aware of their surroundings. Whether we’re walking down the street, working, or driving around town, we’re surrounded by warning signs of varying shapes, sizes, and importance on a daily basis, sometimes making them fade into the background. Recognizing and heeding the warnings on barricade tape will greatly reduce the likelihood of an otherwise avoidable tragedy.

An effective warning must initially attract attention and then convey a clear warning that effectively communicates information and influence. Presco has a large inventory of stock legends in a wide variety of widths, colors, and lengths appropriate for virtually every situation and purpose. We also have custom color matching, private labeling, and barcoding capabilities. To find out more, visit

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