How to Choose the Right Pedestrian Barriers

Terminology, ratings and product categories can make choosing the right pedestrian barriers for your workplace challenging. This guide directs you along the right path.

The best safety barriers & guardrails are ones manufactured to meet the highest traffic safety standards. That is the only way to avoid workplace injuries to staff or visitors, and stay compliant with H&S legislation. However, choosing the right pedestrian barriers can be tricky as there are different types.

For example, do you need a heavy-duty option with a reliable degree of impact absorbance? Which are the best high-vis foot traffic guides, especially on the edges of off-road vehicle routes?

As there are now pedestrian barriers designed and manufactured to fit various locations and levels of activity in workplaces, you need to find the most appropriate one to manage each risk.

For example, some barriers are specifically designed for areas where HGVs and HLGVs operate, and others slot perfectly into warehouse interiors to segregate your workforce and forklift trucks.

Do you know which products provide a handrail as pedestrians transition between ground level and mezzanine floors, or up steps? Also, there are specific pedestrian barriers to stop people from getting too close to sensitive or dangerous equipment in your workplace, or to ensure they don’t bump into racking systems.

To add to your understanding of this important traffic management issue, we have gathered information on the best pedestrian barriers.

Pedestrian Handrail Systems

Pedestrian Handrail Systems (HR50)

Safety barriers & guardrails don’t just direct foot traffic along a set route by providing pedestrians with a visual indicator of danger. They also offer pedestrians a firm barrier to hold on to in areas that present a trip, slip or fall risk.

The best pedestrian handrails are suitable to use internally or externally and come in an easy to assemble modular form. That way, they can be used for diverse locations and risks.

For instance, to manage safety in:

• Car park walkways
• Exits and entrances
• Uneven pathways and internal floors
• Multi-level flooring
• Manufacturing and engineering spaces (guiding pedestrians away from machinery)
• Work areas close to electrical equipment or other incursion hazards.

Pedestrian Safety Barriers (SEG+)

Pedestrian SEG+ Barrier

Pedestrian safety barriers (SEG+) have been designed and manufactured to give an advanced level of protection in areas where industrial vehicles operate. They come in yellow/black to identify hazardous situations, and accessories include Pedestrian Sprung Return Gates and Demountable Shoe Plates. This makes it easy to create a practical flow of pedestrians around your site, without letting them stray into the path of moving machinery, for example.

How else could you use this type of pedestrian barrier?

• Preventing encroachment on LV and IT Cabinets.
• Managing the risks from walking on and off mezzanine floors.

Guardrail Systems (MHE/PIT)

Guardrail Systems (MHE / PIT)

Safety barriers for your warehouse need to be fit for purpose, durable and reliable.

Places where off-road vehicle traffic is most intensive and risky for pedestrians demand specially designed barriers. Particularly guard rails able to withstand impact from Material Handling Equipment (MHE) and Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT).

A heavy-duty steel guard rail system can avoid serious workplace accidents, and of course fatalities. Though it is recommended that you find versions with foam gaskets as standard (underneath the base rail) to prevent dirt and debris gathering, Also, closed-cell construction resists corrosion from guardrail cleaning processes.

Apart from segregating people and off-road vehicles and machinery, what other purpose do they serve?

• By opting for destacker extensions for your steel guard rails, you can increase the height to around 3000mm, for shielding high-level racking or pallet stacks.
• The same height increase can make these products ideal to guard heavy-duty machinery.

Armco Barrier Systems

Armco 1100D Safety Barrier

Armco safety barriers are the gold standard for traffic management on public as well as private roads. Their distinctive and ingenious design creates an impressive degree of impact absorbency.

When using them to help keep drivers and pedestrians safe on your worksite, Armco Pedestrian Safety Ends come highly recommended.

These safety ends provide an essential layer of protection if pedestrians inadvertently come into contact with your Armco barriers. The yellow or black safety ends prevent damage to limbs, torsos or clothing.

More insights on choosing the right pedestrian barriers

With all the different options available, it can be difficult knowing which pedestrian barrier is suitable for your site. This guide has outlined several popular pedestrian barriers, their features, and applications.

With this in mind, we hope this blog has helped you understand how to choose the right pedestrian barriers to properly protect pedestrians on and around your premises.

Workplace Safety 101: The Steps you Need to Take

Finding ways to protect your staff, visitors and workplace safety record is now a fundamental daily business practice. We’ve put together some steps to take to help you foster a safe workplace culture – from simple yet effective workplace safety products, to a full workplace safety checklist.

Statistics on workplace accidents in the UK highlight that more needs to be done to protect people in their place of employment. Particularly in high-risk work environments, where site visitors are also vulnerable to injury.

The figures on workplace safety failures are still shocking when you consider the low-cost safety products and simple measures that could reduce their numbers significantly. According to the HSE, 142 workers were killed ‘on the job’ and 441,000 sustained injuries at work in 2020/21.

Serious issues of this nature are also bound to create residual effects like business interruption, productivity reduction, costs and loss of reputation too. Further emphasising that there is no room for complacency.

So, let’s revisit the fundamental steps needed to build workplace safety and create a safe working environment.

1. Regular meetings on workplace safety

Weekly safety meetings on protection and compliance issues could involve working through your workplace safety checklist.

It’s important to discuss roles and responsibilities for checking and maintaining such things as:

  • Placement and integrity of pedestrian safety products. Have new trip, slip or fall hazards arisen, or could incursion on new or infrequently used machinery create a risk?
  • Workloads and priorities for the week that could impact the site’s use of traffic safety products. Do you need to update or move safety barriers for example?
  • Plus, safety meetings are a good opportunity to ensure your employees are informed and up to date when it comes to industrial safety products to prioritise in 2022 and beyond.

2. Continuously refreshed training

Training your staff properly when it comes to workplace safety, should absolutely be a priority. However, your efforts to create site-wide safety processes and procedures can be undone by an employee who unwittingly breaches them.

To mandate against momentary lapses in memory and concentration, constant safety awareness refreshers are needed. Alongside signage and information to constantly remind your team about potential risks and the best ways to avoid them.

3. Partnering with occupational clinicians

To be confident that you have managed every risk at your workplace decisively – and your staff are fully aware of the role they play – bringing in outside expertise is a wise approach.

Especially for places like busy warehouses, factories, and engineering and chemical plants, where operations are intense, complex and ever-shifting.

4. Constant checks on safety tools and regular equipment inspections

It is highly recommended that you create – and regularly update – a comprehensive list of all the tools and equipment you use to manage workplace safety. Including timescales for any replacements or inspections.

In a busy workplace, you can never assume everything is where it should be. It is advisable for safety officers to do spot checks frequently, to make sure equipment is instantly available to create a speedy and decisive response to safety issues.

5. Employee welfare measures – and breaks

This is one element of workplace safety that can get overlooked in periods of intense pressure or change. It comes down to creating a nurturing workplace culture in which employee health is a priority. You get staff who are more alert, energised and aware of their own obligations.

It could be as simple as encouraging 5 minute breaks for warehouse operatives or office staff, to ease muscle tension and loosen joints. This, in turn, reduces the potential for repetitive strain injuries.

6. Encourage employee discussion

This too is a cultural aspect of workplace safety 101. If you operate on the basis of ‘no blame, no shame’ and encourage staff to speak up about issues promptly, you have a better chance of tackling potential safety problems quickly.

Are your staff encouraged to flag up safety concerns and suggestions?

The big picture on workplace safety

This workplace safety 101 guide shows that companies need to balance overarching risk management, with drilling down on ways to mitigate against even the smallest site hazards. Including the issues that crop up when your organisation’s priorities, layout or processes change slightly.

Brandsafe has worked in partnership with architects and specifiers to create and maintain efficient and safe workspaces worldwide. Including via our RIBA-approved CPD seminars that keep industrial areas, warehouses, logistics and distribution centres updated.