As part of our dedicated consultancy service, we can design and install safety barriers to suit your exact requirements and goals. In this blog we’re taking a look at what safety barriers are, how they work, and why they’re such an important inclusion for manufacturing facilities, warehouses, industrial sites and many other sectors.
Safety barriers can take a wide range of shapes and forms, with the most common being:
Versatile safety barriers: Solid structures made of materials like metal, plastic, concrete or wood that physically block access to certain areas. They are often used to prevent entry into hazardous zones, construction sites, or restricted areas in industrial facilities.
Guardrails: These are typically installed along the edges of platforms, walkways, staircases and elevated areas to prevent accidental falls. They act as protective barriers to keep people from inadvertently walking or stepping off the edge.
Bollards: Short, sturdy posts installed in various locations, such as pedestrian areas, walkways and around buildings, to prevent vehicles from entering these spaces. They also protect buildings from accidental collisions.
Traffic barriers: These barriers are used to manage the flow of traffic on roads, highways and within car parks.
Safety fences: Commonly used around outdoor facilities, such as construction sites and quarries, to prevent unauthorised access and protect individuals from harm.
Safety barriers in the workplace are crucial for maintaining safe and secure surroundings for employees, contractors and any visitors on the premises. Being a core element of a Lean and visual factory, they deliver a variety of benefits:
Accident prevention: Warehouse barriers help to reduce the risk of accidents, injuries and even fatalities by restricting access to high-risk areas where vehicles, heavy machinery and cranes are in use.
Hazard control: In workplaces with inherent risks, such as manufacturing facilities or construction sites, safety barriers act as a control measure to limit exposure to dangerous substances or activities. These barriers can separate workers from hazardous materials such as chemicals, as well as moving parts or harmful processes, thereby mitigating the risk of accidents and health issues.
Traffic management: In workplaces that involve vehicular traffic such as forklift trucks and HGVs, safety barriers can guide the flow of vehicles and pedestrians, preventing collisions and providing clear pathways for safe movement. They also help to maintain order and discipline in high-traffic areas, reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by confusion or chaos.
Compliance with regulations: Many workplace safety regulations and standards require the implementation of safety barriers in specific situations. By adhering to these guidelines, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to safety and avoid potential fines or legal consequences resulting from non-compliance.
Emergency response: In emergency situations, safety barriers can aid in controlling the movement of people. This ensures orderly evacuations and prevents panic, which is vital for minimising injuries and facilitating the efforts of emergency responders.
Risk reduction for visitors: Safety barriers not only protect employees but also extend their benefits to visitors and contractors who may not be familiar with the workplace layout or potential hazards. This can create a positive impression of the organisation and its commitment to safety.
Protection of valuables: Safety barriers can also be used to protect valuable equipment, assets or confidential areas from unauthorised access or theft, contributing to the overall security of the company.
We help businesses across a wide range of sectors to upgrade their safety systems through the installation of high-quality safety barriers. From the manufacturing and food production industries to the pharmaceutical, rail, energy, construction and defence sectors, we can design safety barrier systems to suit all kinds of workplace environments. As well as the benefits listed above, safety barriers can provide the following reassurance:
Psychological comfort: Knowing that appropriate safety measures are in place can enhance the confidence, engagement and wellbeing of employees. Feeling safe in the workplace contributes to improved productivity and reduces the stress and anxiety associated with potential hazards.
Mitigating legal liability: Failure to implement appropriate safety measures can lead to legal repercussions if accidents occur. Having safety barriers in place shows that an employer took reasonable steps to prevent accidents and can reduce potential legal liability if workplace incidents occur.
Promoting safety culture: When employees see safety barriers and similar measures in place, it reinforces the importance of safety in the workplace. This will help you to embed a company culture where employees prioritise their safety and that of their colleagues, leading to a more proactive approach to risk management.
Reducing downtime: Workplace accidents can lead to disruptions in operations, resulting in downtime, waste and decreased productivity. Safety barriers prevent accidents and the associated costs, helping businesses to maintain efficiency and minimise interruptions.
Building trust and reputation: A workplace that is serious about safety will automatically foster trust among employees and customers. This enhances the organisation’s reputation as a responsible and caring employer, which can positively impact recruitment efforts and customer perception.
Many safety barriers are made from metal, which does the job to an extent but is far from an ideal system. If a forklift truck were to collide with a metal barrier, there will surely be some damage to the vehicle, the materials it’s carrying, the barrier itself, and potentially the driver.
That’s why we offer an innovative alternative in the form of polymer safety barriers that flex upon collision. The kinetic energy is absorbed by the barrier rather than being transferred to the vehicle operator, followed by the structure quickly returning to its original shape. We strongly recommend getting in touch about this fantastic safety system, as it’s helping businesses around the UK to protect their people, products and property on a daily basis.
If you’re ready to create a truly Lean and visual factory that has safety at its very core, contact our team on +44 (0)1482 296451 or fill in our contact form to book your free initial consultation.
Get in touch and speak with a Visual Management Specialist to answer any questions you may have on our products, consultancy or business.
Is your business achieving its full potential? Clarity offers a proven approach to help your business achieve its vision. Book now!