How To Prioritise Warehouse Pedestrian Safety

HSE regulations on workplace traffic management are clear. So, why do accidents still happen? In this guide, we share tips on how to prioritise warehouse pedestrian safety measures that must be constantly reviewed.

The Green Cross Code Man, the King of the Road Hedgehog and Tufty the squirrel are among the historic campaigns to keep the public safe on UK roads. The techniques used to manage and prioritise warehouse pedestrian safety are far less colourful, but an urgent, everyday necessity.

In fact, it comes down to not only raising awareness among site personnel and visitors but also installing and regularly reviewing solid and dependable pedestrian safety products.

The problem comes if any of these traffic management systems have been overlooked or gone out of date. It puts the people moving around your premises at risk of injury, or even death.

It’s easy to think that with so many inexpensive Pedestrian Safety Products to choose from, this is not a pressing concern in modern warehouses. However, figures from the National Forklift Truck Safety Day suggest otherwise.

In the past three years, 65% of injuries caused by forklift trucks involved pedestrians, people not directly using that off-road vehicle. That includes accidents affecting co-workers, supervisors and warehouse delivery personnel.

To make sure you don't add to those statistics, what more can you do at your warehouse?

Legal obligations for warehouse pedestrian safety

The HSE takes warehouse pedestrian safety very seriously and provides clear guidelines for how to segregate moving vehicles and machinery from people walking around your site.

The location and design of these pedestrian safety measures must be based on a thorough risk assessment that is regularly updated.

The basic legal principles are that you must be able to show that traffic management systems enable pedestrians and vehicles to stay on clearly designated routes, with active separation measures, clear signage and distinct operational areas, paths and walkways.

Additional safety risks to focus on

Your legal and moral duties include giving special consideration to areas where any vehicles and pedestrians converge. Including around exit and entry points, such as warehouse loading bays.

Also, your risk assessment for warehouse pedestrian safety issues must regularly focus on things like:

• Locations with reduced visibility due to structural features.
• Times when there may be reduced visibility at key points within your premises.
• Areas where heavy loads (or possibly weather conditions) can impact braking ratios for HGVs.
• The potential for background noise to reduce pedestrian and driver awareness of risk.
• The need to create a safe distance between pedestrians and vehicles in compact or complex locations.

What installations make you compliant?

Pedestrian Handrail Systems (HR50)

There are many simple but effective ways to manage and prioritise warehouse pedestrian safety that should be already in place. Such as clear road markings to segregate pedestrians and raised kerbs to prevent vehicle incursion in risk-sensitive places.

Personnel should be constantly reminded of their obligations to remain alert to traffic safety issues, with training, and regular information updates.

What else can you do to keep personnel and visitors safe in your warehouse, where off-road and HGV/LGV vehicles operate?

Suppliers of reliable and effective Pedestrian Safety Products can make sure that you have planned and executed tangible traffic safety measures, site-wide

Including fundamentally crucial options such as Armco barriers along busy routes. There are other versatile Pedestrian Safety Barriers that can be installed to create clear, physical separation too.

Also, installing and updating Pedestrian Handrail Systems can manage your risks better. These are an ideal way to keep forklift trucks and pedestrians apart and provide the added bonus of managing trips, slips and falls.

Keep in mind that sourcing safety barriers and handrails made of quality materials is crucial. Their presence is a warning and guide, but the best pedestrian safety products also provide valuable impact absorption. Making injury less likely when collisions do occur.

Also, finding adaptations such as pedestrian sprung return gates and demountable shoe plates can ensure you have solid traffic management systems that are practical in their application.

What Are The Best Lamp Post Protection Options?

Sourcing the best lamp post protection options can help you to ‘shed light’ on ways to reduce injuries and vehicle damage when a momentary lapse results in a collision.

It’s ironic that though the vertical structures – such as column & post protectors – around a warehouse site often serve fundamental and vital safety functions, at the same time they can be a source of serious workplace risks too.

The best example is workplace lamp posts to light the way for off-road and HGV/LGV vehicles travelling around your site. As well as to help pedestrians see clearly when visibility is poor.

Unfortunately, the presence of these important safety measures can cause substantial problems if a driver misjudges distance or has a momentary lapse in concentration. This can result in driver injury but also costly damage to vehicles if they make substantial contact with posts on commercial premises.

This makes it important to do regular risk assessments of your site structures, including exploring the best lamp post protection options – items that can help you to stay compliant to H&S rules and on-site traffic safety management too.

Why replace lighting posts, when you can protect them?

Lamp Post WRAP Protector

By sourcing the best lamp post protection options, you not only minimise the likelihood of human injury and vehicle damage, but you could also save yourself time, money and hassle.

If vehicles do bump into or scrape lamp posts, the cost of repairing or replacing a faulty structure can be considerable. When in fact, there are cheap lamp post protection products that you can fit in minutes. Then quickly replace after scuffs and bangs, at very little cost.

A compelling example is Brandsafe’s Lamp Post WRAP Protector products. These work on an ingenious clam-shell principle – they are engineered from Polyethylene with a highly absorbent but durable high-density foam core.

The versatile lamp post protectors from Brandsafe are adaptable to different lighting posts sizes. You also have the option of stacking lamp post projectors to manage the impact from HGVs and other more substantial collision risks.

As you would expect from a leading warehouse safety product, they are engineered in highly visible colours and incorporate diamond grade, reflective bands. This can be valuable when your lighting system is not on, but weather conditions reduce visibility and make your upright structures less obvious.

You can choose your own colour for lamp post guards from Brandsafe, to support either corporate branding or your bespoke ways of indicating different work zones or hazards.

Other systems to shield upright structures

When finding a supplier of workplace lamp post protectors, you should also consider options to shield other vertical structures with impact absorption materials. It could be time to assess all your other posts and columns, to make sure your safety measures are adequate and up to date.

This doesn’t only require you to focus on the obvious workplace risk areas, such as loading bay columns and posts though. For example, are there signposts and bay markers in your staff or visitor car park that are leaving you exposed to an accident or failed HSE inspection?

Purchasing cost-effective Sign Post WRAP Protectors gives you the same benefits as the lamp post protector products mentioned above. Including coming in a kit form, to make them quick and easy to fit around a variety of post types.

The same shock absorbent but hardwearing materials are used to manufacture column and post protection products.

Among the structural safety products warehouses need, are PolyWRAP to shield warehouse columns and highly effective PolyWRAP Forklift Impact Skirts. These crucial warehouse items are highly adaptable to different structural shapes and sizes.

The universal benefit of all of these post and column guards is their impact absorption, but also the fact their presence makes structures more visible. Making them doubly important to protect your safety record, as well as your vertical surfaces!