Warehouse pedestrian safety: What products do you need this winter?

Judging from last Winter’s record-breaking rainfall, daylight will be in short supply in the coming months. Making sourcing warehouse pedestrian safety products especially urgent.

Workplaces that involve pedestrians, off-road vehicles and trucks in close proximity are difficult to manage in terms of productivity and risk. The Winter months add to the complexities.

External visibility and movement are impacted, and even some internal warehouse areas become contaminated by moisture and grit from snow, ice and rain.

Assessing how to keep employees, visitors and drivers safe in warehouse environments is a year-round priority of course. However, setting aside falling temperatures, there are added risks in winter that compel you to ramp up site safety from October through to March.

To help you meet targets for warehouse pedestrian safety, which products can help you remain compliant and accident-free this winter?

Strong visual guides and signals for pedestrians

Winter is the perfect time to evaluate all your pedestrian safety features in terms of location, but also visibility. Have you got sufficient numbers of bollards, markers and notices in place across your entire site, but also how well can they be seen during hours of reduced daylight?

Clearly, this especially involves loading bays, approaching roads and car parking areas where staff and visitors walk near traffic.

If the visual impact of your safety structures and fixtures has been compromised over time, then sourcing authentically high-vis safety products for traffic management is now vitally important.

Risk assessments and structural safety measures in Winter

Have you considered every structure, angle or pathway that represents a risk for people walking around your site? Including any added distractions or issues caused by poor light or weather in winter?

Even the sounds of a storm could cause a momentary lapse in concentration.

Keep in mind that it’s now possible to specify versatile safety materials and products in a multitude of dimensions. Everything from easy to see yellow corner wraps, to heavy-duty pedestrian safety barriers and guard rail systems that are impossible to miss.

One of the ways installing new barriers is advantageous in winter months, is it could prevent accidents as staff hurry to get away from outside areas or draughty loading bays, or when drivers have less chance of hearing warnings and commands when it’s windy and wild!

There really is a pedestrian safety product to match every place and situation, and ingenious ways to keep vehicles and pedestrians apart whatever your site layout.

Reducing the risk of winter trips, slips and falls in warehouses

Not all winter hazards in warehouses can be solved by good traffic management though.

Apart from the prospect of icy surfaces leading to your doors and bays, there is also the very real prospect of moisture and other contaminants transferring inside. Making walking on stairs or even flat floors in your warehouse a potential slip risk.

Risk assessment should take account of the need for products such as:

Self-adhesive EdgeWRAP

Self Adhesive EdgeWRAPFor stairs and steps, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to manage foot traffic risks in workplaces, by clearly indicating boundaries.

Keep in mind that this yellow/black light-duty foam edging material can be used in other ways too. Such as to cover over anything that presents a snag hazard, or a sharp edge that could hurt someone.

Versatile Pedestrian Handrails

Versatile Pedestrian Handrails

These are vital externally where ice can build up, but can also be swiftly installed internally, wherever walking becomes perilous when moisture is present.

The best-designed handrail systems don’t simply help pedestrians stay upright. They are also an important way to prevent clashes with structures and off-road vehicles or to segregate staff and visitors from sensitive onsite areas.

Advice on winter safety solutions for pedestrians

There has been considerable investment in campaigns to keep pedestrians safe on public roads, and the HSE has put a strong emphasis on the steps needed to avoid pedestrian accidents in workplaces. However, in busy warehouse environments, the weight of responsibility falls firmly on employers.

Winter brings a fresh set of problems for anyone managing in-out workplaces when staff and vehicles use both external and internal areas for their activities. Planning warehouse pedestrian safety, and knowing what products to buy and where to place them, can become particularly complex in the colder, darker and wetter months.

The answer is to work with BrandSafe, to build on our expertise and experience in mapping out safety systems that leave no opportunities for gaps or oversights, no matter what the British weather brings.

Speed Bumps: Where to place speed bumps in your workplace

Commercial driver training can only go so far in avoiding vehicle accidents on business sites. It’s important to know where to place speed bumps in workplaces, to manage all traffic movement.

Vehicle-related accidents in workplaces are still all too common.

The overall total in the UK is hard to count, as things like falling from moving vehicles can be recorded under ‘slips, trips and falls’. However, the fact that 20 people died after being struck by vehicles on business premises in 2019/20, is enough evidence that it’s still a serious problem.

There are also many other cases of vehicle injury at work, including ones occurring during reversing and slow speed manoeuvres, or even accidents during loading and unloading, coupling and uncoupling, maintenance and repair for example.

However, that death toll shows that vehicles moving around workplaces are still a significant part of the problem.

Managing speed on your business site is therefore not just a matter of H&S compliance. It’s an ethical duty, and a commercial priority to protect your business from interruption, loss of reputation and even potential litigation.

To help mitigate the problem, here are insights on sourcing and placing speed bumps in your workplace.

Do speed bumps work?

Speed Bumps 13 Scaled 1If fitting speed calming measures saves one life or a serious injury, it’s money well spent.

However, research shows that vertical speed bumps make a substantial ‘impact’ and reduce accident rates by as much as 44%. When accidents do happen where road bumps are used, the lower speeds result in less serious injuries.

Speed bumps work because their presence is proven to encourage drivers to cross them at no more than 15mph. A series of traffic calming systems will force drivers to manage their speed to an average of 20mph.

The effectiveness of speed bumps is why they’re so commonly used on public roads. Motorists are now accustomed to responding quickly and slowing down.

Speed bump regulations

There are regulations on the type and size of road humps you can use on public highways. If you are planning traffic calming measures on roads leading to or around your premises, you must adhere to the Highways Regulations (Road Humps) 1999.

Keep in mind that you can only install bumps on roads with speed limits of 30mph or less, and you must indicate their location clearly.

For commercial premises, once you have the landowner’s permission, it is vital to find a speed bump supplier to produce structures that are reliable, durable and effective. Cheap and dubious products could cause more problems than they solve!

Placing speed bumps for maximum effect

HLGV Wheel Stop 1 1 ScaledKnowing where to place speed bumps is crucial! Their presence acts as a warning and hopefully a deterrent, but if they can be avoided or ignored, then your traffic safety system is flawed.

The starting point is a risk assessment of your site, finding strategic locations for all traffic safety products, including bollards, signs and road-based speed reduction systems. Speed bumps and wheel stops are often used in combination for warehouse environments, for example.

Potential locations include arterial site roads but also secondary access roads, car parks and areas where fleets and visiting lorries cluster.

Clearly, they need to be seen to be effective (and safe). So, hi-vis markings and signage must be included in your planning.

One of the key factors in specifying speed bumps is the fixing method, especially if you have HGV and LGV constantly passing over them. A structure that gets easily damaged or displaced creates a new safety hazard.

Also, the height and spread of speed bumps must be considered. This can mean working with an expert in traffic safety management, to get an effective speed deterrent that won’t damage your vehicles or make your site inaccessible for emergency vehicles.

The calculation is often height to speed goal ratio, and types of vehicles using your site. So, if you need to get drivers down to 5mph, you may need a bigger hump!

For most commercial sites, the perfect solution to managing vehicle speed is a 50mm high, black and yellow speed bump from BrandSafe. These come in kit form – in a range of lengths – to make them adaptable and easy to install on concrete or tarmac.

BrandSafe can supply custom-made speed bumps and ramps too if you need a site-specific requirement.

Also, contact us for help in mapping out traffic calming systems and other site safety features. It’s something we’re experienced at and can do fast!