Improve safety with these barrier safety tips
There are some ways to assist keep employees safe while working within a facility. Sometimes it is better to provide them with protective gear to help limit exposure to hazards, for example. At other times, you can help by training people to avoid specific hazards within the facility. While both are great options, sometimes the best way to improve safety is to physically prevent access to the hazardous area.
This practice is known as a security barrier, which consists of placing physical barriers that will prevent people or vehicles from going to a specific area. Most people are familiar with this type of safety when driving on the highway and seeing metal barriers on bridges and other areas. Using this type of security within a facility is a great way to improve security, provided it is done correctly.
1. Types of Safety Barriers
There are many various types of barriers that may be used within your facility to enhance overall safety. Understanding all of your options is a great way to ensure that you can choose the right type of barrier for a given situation. The following are some common varieties of barriers which will be used:
- Fences - Fencing is a great way to limit access. You can use chain link fencing to create the opposite side visible, but people won't accidentally enter a restricted area. Other types of fences may also be helpful.
- Handrails: placing handrails around the edges is very common in many installations. These guardrails can provide not only a physical barrier, but also a visible warning that you are approaching a fall hazard.
- Guardrails - Placing guard railings is a great way to prevent not only people from accessing an area, but also vehicles such as forklifts.
- Kick boards - Kick boards are located close to the ground and can be an effective way to prevent vehicles from moving in an area or make it difficult for things like a dolly to slide. It will also provide a barrier for people. aware that they are entering a dangerous area.
- Windows: Installing windows can be a great type of barrier in many cases. However, when using this option, you need to make sure that the presence of the window is clear so that people will not come across it. Keeping the window clean enough to ascertain through is another important requirement.
Of course, there are other types of safety barriers available as well. Examining all the different options will help you know which types of barriers will be best for which areas of your installation. Take the time to really look at all the different options to make sure you make the right decision. In most cases, the barriers are installed permanently, so you don't want to regret your choice in the future.
2. Possible dangers of barriers
Safety barriers can be a great way to limit access to specific areas; however, they may carry certain risks that you should be aware of. Whenever you think about the safety barriers of any kind, you should review the following potential hazards and see if they are present. If so, you must take steps to mitigate the additional hazard:
- Blocking exits: you never want to put up a barrier that makes access to an exit difficult or impossible. This is especially true for emergency exits. If you need to limit access to an area where there is an exit, make sure that during an emergency people can easily escape.
- Blocking safety signs - Whenever you put up a barrier of any kind, you must ensure that it does not restrict the visibility of safety signs or other important things. If you are going to put up a fence, for example, you need to ensure that the safety signs on the other side are still visible or add an additional sign on the fence.
- Trip Hazards - Some barriers are fairly close to the ground, which can cause a trip hazard. While these are excellent options for blocking vehicles, they present difficulties for people walking in the area.
- Pinch points - Barriers add new places where people could get trapped if caught by a vehicle or other machine. These are known as pinch points and the risk of them occurring should be reduced as much as possible, as they can be very deadly.
- Blind spots - Every time you put up a barrier, you are creating additional visual obstructions, which could cause blind spots for those who walk or drive in the area. It is very important to take precautions to limit blind spots or develop a procedure to reduce the hazard.
Taking the time to look for any potential hazards caused by barriers will help ensure that the area is as safe as possible.
3. Information on barriers
Another potential risk associated with using barriers to improve safety is that people may not know enough about the barrier to use it properly. For example, if you put in a security gate to keep people out, they might think it is strong enough to lean on or apply pressure. If the door is not anchored properly, this could create a serious hazard.
That is why it is important that everyone knows about barriers and how they should be used. This can be done with a simple training class or even by placing safety signs on the barrier itself.
It is also very important to provide a way for people to easily see things like how much weight a barrier can support, the location of the middle and low rails (support boards). The more information people can gather at a glance, the more secure the barrier.
4. Visibility of the barrier
Taking steps to ensure that people know where the barrier is located is another important safety tip. In many cases, people will be walking or driving through the area and will not be able to easily see the barrier, which can cause some serious dangers. Attaching barricade safety tape is a great way to get the attention of people in the area.
This barrier security tape can be placed directly over the barrier itself to make it more visible, or more often, it can be placed on the floor leading to the barrier. This is a great way to get the attention of people in the area so that they can take proper precautions to avoid hitting or tripping over the barrier.
5. Safety barriers benefits
While much of what has been discussed here talks about some of the potential dangers of using safety barriers in a facility, they are actually an excellent option in many cases. As long as you take the potential dangers seriously and take steps to minimize these risks, you will find that the benefits far outweigh the problems.
This is especially true considering the fact that barriers
are typically used to limit access to some of the most dangerous areas of a
facility. For example, many companies use barriers along high ledges, from
which people could fall. With a proper security barrier, you can help keep
everyone safe in your warehouse or facility. Contact Verge Safety Barriers today!