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Safety barrier considerations

03 May 2022

Choosing the right pedestrian barriers improves safety and supports operational performance for warehouse operators looking to mitigate risk, says Paul Roehricht.

THE HEALTH and Safety Executive’s HSG76 advises on a number of factors which have to be taken into account when planning the layout of a site so that ‘…pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely. Where vehicles and pedestrians use the same traffic route, there should be adequate separation between them’. 

This involves the installation of systems that are crucial to the safe and efficient movement of people, vehicles and machinery around the industrial workspace. HSG76 also recommends combining this clearly discernible safety signage with guardrails and pedestrian handrails used to create clear segregation and traffic routes. 

Indeed, the use of pedestrian barriers and handrails is an area where gains in safety can be rapidly achieved in a relatively straightforward and cost-effective manner. There are systems available that can be installed in various locations and which are designed to accommodate all levels of activity in the industrial workplace. For example, there are barriers designed for zones where larger commercial vehicles operate while others are more suited to interior areas to segregate the workforce and forklift trucks, or protect people from sensitive or hazardous equipment.

When choosing a barrier system, it’s important to select products with performance characteristics that make them suitable for the required application. This might seem obvious but it’s not uncommon for some products to look good on paper only to disappoint in reality. Any responsible supplier should advise on performance requirements and best practice when specifying products.

To protect people and IT cabinets, or manage risks from walking on / off mezzanine floors, high visibility pedestrian safety barriers (SEG+) and accessories such as sprung return gates, can be deployed. These are also designed to provide protection in areas where industrial vehicles operate, guiding people safely around sites and preventing them from straying into the path of moving machinery or hazardous equipment.

Guardrails and Armco barriers can also form part of a comprehensive pedestrian safety solution. The former should be installed in areas where there is a high volume of off-road vehicle traffic and material handling equipment. Tough and highly visible Armco safety barriers considered to help keep drivers and pedestrians safe across the entire spectrum of the industrial workspace. Moreover, integrated polymer safety ends and corners are specifically designed to enable drivers of materials handling equipment, powered industrial truck operators and HGV vehicles to easily spot and navigate around barrier systems.

Paul Roehricht, UK strategic account manager, Brandsafe

For more information, visit brandsafeprotection.com