The significance of safety barriers in the workplace

Identifying how the addition of safety barriers can improve workplace safety, productivity and profitability

Forklifts are the primary causes of incidents and injuries in workplaces and are most dominant in industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and warehouses. These forklift accidents often include overturned forklifts and collisions with pedestrians, pallets, or other equipment. Importantly, these forklift accidents can not only cause costly damage to equipment, but run the risk of causing serious injury and even death to pedestrians in the vicinity. It is therefore essential that forklift operators be trained to operate forklifts safely.

Whilst implementing safe operational procedures to mitigate the risk of incidents and injuries, the use of safety barriers takes safety management to the next level.

The significance of safety barriers in the workplace »

Optimising safety

The chief purpose of using safety barriers within the workplace is to reduce, control, and mitigate risk or the potential of incidents or injuries occurring. Safety barriers are an easy and efficient method to improve safety in warehouse. When safety barriers are erected, they restrict easy access to areas where forklifts are in operation to reduce the chances of an accident occurring. They offer a clear highly visible perimetre for the operators to ensure that they are unable to drift into marked pedestrian areas.

Vehicular Protection

The advantages of implementing safety barriers in the workplace is to prevent damage to the vehicular fleet such as the forklifts, trucks and flatbeds which could result in costly damages.  It takes a split second of carelessness from a vehicle operator for an accident to occur and the possibilities are endless.

The significance of safety barriers in the workplace »

In an unforeseeable event where a collision may occur, a safety barrier will dramatically lower the risk of physical injury and expansive damage to the vehicle of any object or pedestrian in the immediate proximity of the incident.

It is important to review what types of safety barriers you have, and to make sure you have the most efficient model available as outdated or damaged barriers could cause excessive damage in the event of a forklift accident and have a higher risk of injury to the operators.

Strategies to prevent collisions

Every workplace has a level of risk and for this reason, having safety barriers is important in creating a safer workplace. We know that risk cannot be eliminated, therefore managers need to constantly assess workplaces and apply the most appropriate safety solutions.

There are a variety of safety barriers, that are built to manage a specific hazard or meet a specific need, depending on the nature of the area that is being secured. Being aware of compliance with the current standards is important when choosing the right barrier for your environment.  For example, there are specific barriers for heights and elevated operational areas, including mezzanine floors. Some barriers are of a modular design with some fully welded.  Others may be designed to provide security when only a short-term temporary solution is required.  Much research has been conducted over the years around the types of safety barriers that are available on the market with new technology emerging to prevent or at least reduce workplace incidents and injuries. Safety barriers help boost the workers’ physical awareness of their surroundings and even by denying them access to some dangerous areas.

The significance of safety barriers in the workplace »

Types of safety barriers and their purpose

There are various types of safety barriers that are used to reduce the risk of accidents when using forklifts or other powered industrial trucks:

  • Bollards are sturdy steel posts that are an easy way to prevent property damage and are widely used in commercial environments. They can be filled with cement, if desired, for added protection.
  • Column protectors and beams are both visible and protected with impact-absorbing, high-density polyethylene column protectors. They are helpful in areas such as narrow doorways and corners.
  • Wall protectors are energy-absorbing wall protectors can be installed at any height to prevent damage to the concrete, drywall, or block walls.
  • Guard rails are used to protect large areas against vehicle collisions, provide pedestrian walkways, and protect buildings from damage.
  • Expandable barriers are portable and fixed and used to deny access to unsafe areas or pedestrian free zones in and around the workplace.
  • Safety guards and rack guards are high-visibility yellow steel safety rails that are easily installed with steel plates. They are maintenance free and will provide years of protection for the equipment and workers.

Safety barriers are an economical workplace safety product, that are easy to implement, they protect any workplace from the damage that can be caused by collisions when powered industrial trucks are utilised.

Preventing damage to property and equipment

Safety barriers can prevent serious incidents and injuries by powered industrial trucks e.g. forklifts from getting involved in serious accidents in a workplace environment. In addition, these safety barriers can also prevent vehicles from damaging the equipment or stock. Without safety barriers, the stock or equipment, and vehicles may be exposed to accidental damage when a forklift accident occurs. In such a case, this comes at a cost to the business due to repairs to the vehicle or the replacement of the stock or equipment

Worker’s awareness

The safety barrier is also designed to provide physical awareness to workers and pedestrians of their surroundings. Without this awareness accidents are likely to occur, for example, where workers may fail to hear the reversing sound of a forklift or even the sound of the fire alarm. It is paramount that the workers are constantly alert as to where they are and where danger might be lurking.

The presence of safety barriers helps to maintain that awareness. The fact that safety barriers are in an area is an indication that moving vehicle will be present and worker must be alert and take the necessary precaution when moving within those surroundings. This means they can make sure they are not in the path of any forklifts or loading trucks.

Business profitability

Clearly, the importance of safety barriers in some workplaces cannot be overstated. They help prevent workers and even vehicles from incident and accidents and are also effective in keeping stock and equipment safe and free from damage, thus saving the bottom-line.

Get safety barriers installed in your workplace to help improve your businesses safety and performance

Safety of your employees should be your primary concern as a business owner, and so the installation of safety barriers in the workplace environment is a no brainer. Contact the safety experts at Verge Safety Barriers for all your workplace safety installations on 1800 765 539 or request a quote online.

The significance of safety barriers in the workplace »
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