Guide: How Barriers Can Reduce Workplace Injuries

Studies reveal that there are around 2.9 million workplace injuries a year. This number may seem shocking to some of you, but to others, it is a consistent reality. The goal that many companies want is to reduce injuries in the workplace to zero.

While it may seem impossible to bring that number down to zero, there are ways to make a worksite safer. One possible way to increase the levels of safety is installing workplace barriers.

Mostly, a barrier is a way to keep people out — or at least aware of their surroundings. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. Let’s look extensively at the types of barriers available and how they can prevent workplace injuries.

Types of Barriers

Generally speaking, there are two types of barriers. “Hard” barriers and “soft” barriers are the most common ones available on worksites.

A soft barrier is made of either wire rope or plastic. They can be used on roads, or in industrial factories where it can be hard to hear and see hazards.

Some people prefer using these types of blockers because they can quickly be picked up and moved — making them ideal for worksites that consist of different steps and stations. Bosses love the fact that they can use the blocks as they see fit and move them when it comes time to switch the nature or location of the task at hand.

On the other hand, hard barriers take some effort to move and can be used as permanent fixtures in some locations. You may have noticed “hard” barriers on the highway when there is construction going on. The hard walls are put in place to keep cars in one lane and to protect the workers who are likely wearing earplugs.

Hard barriers can also be used in factories in the way of concrete or steel rails or blocks. They are great for keeping workers out of unsafe areas and preventing workplace injuries.

Most factories invest in these types of barriers when there is a specific area that could be harmful or fatal to the employee if they get too close. The barrier is meant to be more than a deterrent; it is intended to function as a lifesaver.

How Barriers Prevent Workplace Injuries

You may be surprised to know that most factories use barriers because they are absolutely the best tool to use when keeping “the floor” safe.

But why do bosses prefer using barriers over other means? Simply put, barriers offer multiple solutions and methods for keeping employees safe. These restrictions help maintain the “flow” of employees as they travel throughout the building.

If there is an area that is particularly hazardous, you may consider putting up hard barriers to keep the number of people in that area to a minimum. This restriction allows the boss to keep the area safer — even if they are not around to physically monitor the space.

When a particular area seems crowded, you may opt to install hard barriers to ensure that employees keep moving through the hazardous area and don’t linger around, risking injury. Soft barriers can also be used in this situation and might be more fitting depending on the circumstances.

Vehicle & Employee Protection

vehicle and employee protection

It’s also possible to use workplace barriers to monitor the area where vehicles, such as forklifts, travel. This makes it so that vehicles, and the people driving them, can only go to the left or right a certain distance.

This solution helps ensure that the vehicles and people piloting are safe. Aside from this protection, it is also a signal to other employees that a vehicle could come through this area.

Many companies use these barriers strictly in areas where vehicles are going to be driven. It is a smart step that could potentially save the life of an employee who makes a careless or accidental mistake.

What Type of Barrier is Right for You?

Once you have decided to buy a barrier, you need to figure out which one is going to suit your needs. First, think about where you are going to use your blockers. Is it a factory that refurbishes airplane parts, or is it a manufacturing plant?

These two different places are a great example of how there are vastly different reasons for needing a barrier in your workplace. If you are working in a manufacturing plant, you may need hard barriers to ensure that vehicles can get through and the flow of the workplace remains consistent.

Hard barriers can withstand the impact of a vehicle, so it is essential to take that into consideration before you decide on what sort of blocker you need.

On the other hand, maybe you need something that merely keeps people in their respective area and ensures a smooth flow when people are walking by one another. If that is the case, a soft barrier can benefit your company. Remember, hard or soft; both can prevent workplace injuries from occurring.

At the end of the day, you need to decide on a barrier that suits the needs of the company and your employees. You obviously want to do everything you can to make sure that they are safe, and workplace barriers can get the job done.

workplace barriers keep employees safe

Where to Find Barriers

Now you are at the point where you are ready to buy. You’re asking yourself, “Where can I find these barriers?” You might be surprised to know that you don’t have to go to a crowded factory warehouse to buy these barriers and more. Luckily, we have a solution for you.

We offer a range of high-quality barriers both hard and soft, along with variations that will fit the needs of your business. You don’t have to worry about deciding where else to look because we have it all. You can browse our extensive collection here.

If you would like to read more articles explaining the benefits of barriers, information about workplace injuries, or just general workplace tips and tricks don’t forget to stop by our blog!