A Guide to Industrial Safety Barriers

It is an unfortunate fact of life that accidents in the workplace are almost inevitable. While slips and trips are the most common causes of workplace injuries, there is an almost infinite number of other things that can go wrong on any given day – and this is especially true in warehouses and manufacturing environments, due to the heavy machinery, complicated equipment and moving equipment like forklift trucks Every company has a responsibility to safeguard their employees against accidents as much as possible, and to provide a safe place to work. One of the key ways in which industrial facilities can promote safety is through safety barriers – which is why we’ve come up with this guide.

What are industrial safety barriers?

Industrial safety barriers are designed to protect people, equipment and goods from accidents. They range from relatively low-profile posts and beams to prevent the impact from a stray forklift or pallet truck, through to waist-high (or higher) fencing to build walkways that are protected from vehicle paths.

One thing that most industrial safety barriers have in common is that they are eye-catching – typically a bright yellow or orange. This makes them even more effective as a barrier – rather than just presenting a physical impediment, they also make it obvious at a glance that there are safety risks in the area and that caution should be taken.

What are the options?

For protecting stock and equipment, you need either a straight collision bar or a corner one. These make sure that forklifts, pallet trucks, dollies and other wheeled equipment and vehicles can’t get too close to your shelving or equipment and cause damage. They’re easy to install – most have base plates to bolt into the floor, and then a bar that runs parallel to the ground a few inches higher up.

For preventing pedestrian/vehicle accidents, you’ll need a much larger barrier. You can choose here between a simple raised bar – roughly waist height for the average person, or the same thing with a second lower horizontal bar to prevent people ducking under. For longer walkways, you might want to think about incorporating a gate to allow access (with care).

Those are the static, or fixed/permanent options. For more temporary barriers, you can choose to use posts with chains, expanding ‘trellis’ barriers, moveable plastic fences or retractable belt options. These are particularly useful if you have equipment that is likely to be moved around over the course of its lifetime, or if you sometimes have to change the configuration of your site and don’t want to bolt down barriers that might then need moving.

Traffic control can also be achieved with industrial safety barriers. You can fix one-way plates into the ground to allow vehicles to travel in one direction only, or you can use outdoor barriers to temporarily control access or traffic flow as required.

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