Attention: Risk of collision! In most industrial plants and factories, there is a risk of accident and machinery damage everyday. With luck, most of these accidents will end in scratched paintwork, but, there is the possibility of serious personal injury and this should not be taken lightly. But don’t worry; for effective protection you do not need to wrap your staff and equipment in cotton wool. Safety barriers and impact protection systems are the simple and clever way to avoid accidents and damage to equipment in daily operations.
In daily operations there is often a lot of time pressure, especially when it comes to in-house transport, loading and unloading. But this can often lead to an accident if not enough caution is taken.
Impact protection systems and safety barriers prove to be a simple but effective measure for increased operational safety in production areas. Functions such as the separation of traffic and work areas, the regulation of in-house traffic, the securing of storage facilities or the clearing of thoroughfares. They can also be used to shut off hazardous areas, construction sites and temporary obstacles to prevent unauthorised access.
Barriers and impact protection systems are also an important precaution against damage to machinery and equipment. Proper impact or collision protection effectively helps to reduce downtime and repair costs. Replacing a damaged crash barrier is ultimately easier and cheaper than repairing a production plant or broken piece of machinery.
The installation of impact protection systems can have a positive effect on your insurance cover or make it possible in the first place. You may also be required by law to provide adequate collision protection and barriers. You can read more about this below.
It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workforce. This means making sure that workers are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace. In order to do this, a risk assessment should be carried out to identify any risks that might cause harm in the workplace.
According to the HSE, a risk assessment is:
"...a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm..."
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), regulates the duty of the employer to make an 'assessment of risk' to the health and safety of its workforce, and to act upon risks they identify, so as to reduce them (Regulation 3). It also states that the employer must provide employees with information and training on occupational health and safety.
There are no fixed rules on how to carry out a risk assessment, but the below 5 steps will help to ensure your risk assessment is carried out correctly.
Identify the hazards
Decide who might be harmed and how
Evaluate the risks and decide on control measures
Record your finding and implement them
Review your assessment and update if necessary
The risk assessment will be the primary decision making tool for the installation of impact protection systems and safety barriers in your workplace. If the risk assessment detects risks for employees, impact protection systems and safety barrier systems should be considered as part of your action planning and installed where necessary within your business.
Traffic routes must be set up and operated in such a way that they can be safely used or driven on at any time. Danger for employees must be counteracted with suitable measures. If means of transport are used on traffic routes, a sufficient safety distance for pedestrians must be maintained. By law, traffic routes must also keep vehicle routes far enough away from doors or gates that pedestrians use, or from pedestrian routes that lead on to them, so the safety of pedestrians is not threatened.
Safety precautions must be determined according to the risk assessment. If the result of the risk assessment requires it, barriers and markings should be used to delineate between level traffic routes and surrounding work and storage areas and between pedestrian and vehicular traffic routes.
We recommend the following:
Traffic routes and safety equipment should be periodically inspected for their proper functioning and if necessary, repaired, depending on the nature, extent and time limits of the review based on the results of the risk assessment.
Employees must be instructed of company traffic rules and routes.
The required minimum width of traffic routes must be kept constant so they can be used at any time.
According to the HSE, storage areas should be properly designated and clearly marked. The layout of the storage and handling areas should be carefully considered to avoid tight corners, awkwardly placed doors, pillars, uneven surfaces and changes of gradient. The use of safety barriers and rails should be considered to protect pedestrian routes.
Where materials are handled by crane or fork lift truck, they should be placed on battens or other suitable material, so that a sling or the forks can be inserted. Pallets handled by crane should only be lifted by attachments suitable for that pallet design. A ‘C’-hook pallet attachment should be used where appropriate. Where fork-lift trucks are used, it is possible for most materials to be palletised and stacked as complete pallet loads, or stored on pallet racking.
When working with hazardous materials in daily operations, it is important to identify the additional risks that may arise and to observe further guidelines.
Barrier tapes can be used where the marking of dangerous locations is deemed necessary. They can be used internally or externally to help alert people of a hazard or danger. But barrier tapes come in different colours, so which one should be used?
OSHA regulations specify colour coding of barricades as follows:
Black / yellow for Physical Hazards
Red / white for Fire Prevention and Protection Equipment
Black / white for Housekeeping and Aisle Marking
Magenta / yellow for Radiation Hazards
Green / white for Safety and First Aid
Blue / white for Defective Machinery
Orange / white for Traffic and Caution Warning
Whether on the phone, via e-mail or in person at your premises - we are happy to help and advise you. Get in touch with us.
The specialist information on this page has been compiled carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS Ltd cannot assume any warranty or liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the topicality, completeness and correctness either towards the reader or towards third parties. The use of the information and content for your own or third party purposes is therefore at your own risk. In any case, please observe the locally and currently applicable legislation.