In today’s workplace, the safety of workers operating forklifts is an important consideration. Forklift and warehouse protective barriers, guardrails, and bollards are used to provide physically separated walkways and safe work areas for pedestrians. In today’s guide, we’ll explore 5 options for improving your warehouse’s protective barriers. Read on to learn more.
1. Workplace safety risks
Accidents range from tip-overs during loading and unloading, falling loads, impacts to racks and other equipment or structures, and most seriously, collisions with people. Too many deaths and serious injuries occur among workers near forklifts and pedestrians passing through forklift operations.
Forklifts, technically known as “industrial forklifts”, are classified as high-risk equipment in Australia, which speaks volumes about how dangerous they can be. They may only be operated by persons trained by an accredited workplace safety trainer and issued a forklift license by the local OHS regulatory agency.
Separating pedestrians from forklifts in the workplace is a simple solution to the problem of operators driving or backing into workers. In this case, every workplace is different and may require advice from a factory supplier, material handling expert. Or workplace designer on how best to keep forklifts and pedestrians separate.
In some workplaces, interaction with forklifts and workers may be necessary due to the nature of various tasks or limitations of the workplace layout. Workers on foot may be performing tasks such as order picking with a forklift in a dispatch area. Other workers may be loading and unloading items that the forklift cannot handle.
2. What is the purpose of warehouse protection barriers?
These barriers are designed to protect shelves or other valuable products from collisions in warehouse-like environments. In these environments, people travel around in work vehicles such as forklifts, and accidents can easily occur if this activity is performed all day long. If a forklift driver isn’t paying attention or can’t see clearly ahead of them. They could hit the shelves holding valuable products that are being moved around the warehouse.
This can result in thousands of pounds worth of damage and is not something any warehouse owner wants to deal with. These warehouse barriers are 750mm high and provide adequate protection to the racks where the products are stored, as well as other vehicles in the warehouse.
3. Where can warehouse protection barriers be used?
These warehouse protection barriers are likely to be found in warehouse environments. They are ideal for this type of environment as the barriers are easy to install and can also be placed one on top of the other. If there is a long shelf with products that could be bumped, these barriers can be placed along the length of the shelf to prevent any damage to the shelf. Dealing with damage to a forklift is much easier than dealing with damage to a shelf and all the products on it. Most of the time, if a forklift hits a guardrail, the damage it causes isn’t even cause for concern. The sides of the vehicle may be scratched, but it will most likely still run.
For example, I have a friend who is a supplier of tapered roller bearings. Once he invited me to visit his factory, and I saw that he had installed many warehouse guardrails beside the shelves of the factory. He introduced me to the many tapered roller bearings placed on the shelves. The installation of a warehouse guardrail beside the shelf can prevent the shelf from being damaged, and then protect the tapered roller bearings on the shelf from being damaged.
4. Warehouse protection barriers: 5 options to consider for installation
Warehouse protection barriers are critical to protecting workers, goods, and equipment, especially where heavy vehicles circulate.
There are many different types of warehouse security barriers that can be installed depending on your needs. Five of the most commonly used are highlighted below.
Guardrails are typically metal dividers used in warehouses to separate areas to limit the chance of people mixing with vehicles and machinery into the same area. Thereby preventing accidents and protecting goods.
There are several types of guardrails to consider when deciding which warehouse barrier to install.
#1. Heavy duty guardrail
As the name suggests, heavy-duty guardrails are designed to withstand significant impacts and are especially important in warehouses with heavy traffic of vehicles and equipment.
Heavy-duty guardrails will obviously be more expensive due to the quality and quantity of materials used to make them, but the cost is offset by the safety they provide.
#2. Medium Strength Guardrail
Medium-strength guardrails can also protect people and cargo but are best suited where the likelihood of collisions or heavy vehicle movements is low.
While medium-strength guardrails are obviously not as protective as heavy-duty guardrails, they are still strong warehouse security barriers that can withstand considerable impacts.
Flexible warehouse barriers are malleable and can cushion a certain amount of impact before returning to their original shape.
These are particularly useful when the likelihood of vehicle and equipment impact is particularly high.
A bollard is a short column that acts as a safety barrier in a warehouse by preventing or restricting access to certain areas.
They are also often used to protect doorways and support beams from severe impacts, with a variety of bollards available.
#1. Buried bollards
An inground bollard is a heavy-duty bollard (usually made of stone or metal) that is sunk into the ground to provide a high degree of impact protection.
While underground bollards tend to be the most hard-wearing, they are also the most long-lasting, so it’s important to make sure you place them wisely when organizing your warehouse security barriers.
#2. Bolt-on bollards
Bolt-on bollards are bollards that are fixed to a solid base in the ground. They offer a high level of protection and have the added advantage of being easily moved or removed as needed.
Bolt-on bollards are often painted a bright color to improve visibility, which is especially important if they are only used at certain times.
#3. Flexible bollards
Flexible bollards are made of or coated with materials that can cushion impacts and return to their previous shape, such as high-density foam.
In areas where impact is likely, spring-loaded bollards are also available. They can withstand crushing before returning to their previous position to minimize damage to the vehicle.
3) Column protector
Column protectors are placed around the column to resist the impact of a forklift or mechanical collision. Their use can prevent possible damage to your facility, saving you maintenance time and money.
It is important to make protecting retaining walls and columns a top priority in your warehouse. For these structures, we also have different protective equipment that can reduce damage caused by impact. There are many types of materials and shapes that you can consider protecting. However, we can distinguish between hard and flexible materials. Choosing one of these depends on the needs of each store. The advantage of both cases is that they increase the visibility of the column and thus its protection.
4) Telescopic warehouse guardrail
Retractable barriers are temporary dividers that can be used when needed. Typically, a retractable barrier is a length of sturdy material that can be clamped into place to separate or delineate an area.
They are typically used when a passage or other area needs to be blocked off to prevent people and vehicles from approaching.
Generally, retractable barriers are brightly colored or used in conjunction with signage, as they provide little impact protection and only serve to indicate to people that an area is demarcated.
5) Safety door
Security doors are warehouse barriers used to provide access to an area when needed but otherwise restrict access. They are often used to prevent access to loading docks when not in use. Or to control the flow of people and vehicles to prevent accidents.
Therefore, industrial security doors can become a critical warehouse security barrier for any operation that involves large volumes of goods entering or exiting, or heavy foot and vehicle traffic.
Security gates can open and close automatically to prioritize one type of traffic or another. And they can come in different forms.
These include swing track doors that open outwards and straight track doors that lift and close.
Installing warehouse protection barriers is the perfect solution to physically separate forklifts from pedestrians. Forklift-only areas can be created by installing industrial-strength safety barriers, safety railings, or safety guardrails. Warehouse guardrails and bollards are ready for use in shipping and storage situations. The above are the 5 commonly used warehouse protection barriers we have compiled. I hope that after reading this article, you can quickly find the warehouse protection barrier that suits you.