DENIOS Guide to Impact Protection & Safety Barriers

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.



Using Impact Protection & Safety Barriers

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. 

Simple and uncomplicated for increased operational safety!

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.

Other benefits  

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.


Which regulations should be observed?

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. 

The risk assessment

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.

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on control measures
  4. Record your finding and implement them
  5. 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. 

Special requirements for traffic routes

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: 

Regular inspection

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. 
Instruction of employees

Employees must be instructed of company traffic rules and routes. 
Keep traffic routes clear

The required minimum width of traffic routes must be kept constant so they can be used at any time. 

 

 

Special requirements for storage facilities 

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.

Racking systems

All racking systems should be of good mechanical construction, of sound material, adequate strength and installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The maximum safe working load and design configuration for any racking installation should be conspicuously displayed. Racking systems should also be protected if it is likely to be struck by fork lift trucks and other vehicles.

Racking should be regularly inspected to ensure it is repaired and maintained properly and is safe.

Special requirements for barricades & safety barriers 

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

Which impact protection system is most suitable for my application?

Before purchasing an impact protection system you should ask yourself the following 2 questions: What should be protected? And where should be protected?

1  What should be protected?

In most cases your impact protection system must be more stable and heavier than the equipment that it has to withstand. After all, a handcart develops significantly less force than a forklift or truck. It is therefore important to clarify the potential sources of danger within the framework of the risk assessment and to choose a suitable impact protection system as a protective measure. The stability of the impact protection system depends not only on the dimensions, but also on the material and the mounting technique. More information can be found below.



2  Where will be protected?

Depending on whether the impact protection is to be used indoors or outdoors, different requirements must be placed on the material. A collision with equipment may damage the impact protection itself - rusting may occur when using non-galvanized steel products outdoors, which further damages the product. Therefore, you should choose a corrosion-resistant material for impact protection systems that are used outdoors. More information can be found below.


What material should I choose my impact protection from?

The DENIOS range of impact protection products includes models made of steel and high-quality plastic. When choosing the material, you should ask yourself what exactly the impact protection has to do. Depending on the application, different material properties may be required. In general, the larger the diameter and the thicker the material, the greater the resistance of your collision guard. If heavy and fast machines are used in your company, you should therefore use particularly stable collision protection.

When used outdoors, the weather conditions must also be considered. If a particularly robust impact protection system is required, you should choose a product made of hot-dip galvanized steel, which offers protection against rust damage. In contrast, plastic crash protection is completely corrosion-resistant - even after colliding with vehicles, there is no reason to fear rust damage. However, galvanized steel is often the better choice for outdoor use because of the disadvantages associated with plastic products due to their poor UV resistance. Plastic however, offers a significant advantage in terms of collision protection as the round shapes and elastic material reduce the impact and therefore also protect the approaching equipment.

[Translate to en_GB:] Aus welchem Material sollte ich meinen Rammschutz wählen?

How should my impact protection system be attached?

Once you have decided which impact protection system is required according to your risk assessment, the next step is to install the system.

When mounting on the floor, you have the choice between setting in concrete and screwing. Setting in concrete is more time-consuming - but this is what keeps impact protection systems most secure. If you decide to screw, you should always make sure that you use suitable screws and dowels. Pay particular attention to yielding products to a sufficient distance from the object to be protected.

Impact protection which is to be attached directly to the object to be protected (for example, edge or wall protection profiles), can be screwed depending on the product, self-adhesive, magnetic or fastened by plug-in system. In any case, you should also take into account the type of installation when planning measures according to your risk assessment.


How do the different systems vary?

If you are looking for a solution for marking off areas, guiding people or for securing temporary hazardous areas, a safety barrier system is the right choice. As part of your risk assessment, you should always check whether a simple shut-off system is sufficient for the respective application or whether a robust crash protection system is required.

Safety barrier systems are particularly useful as a mobile variant to react quickly and flexibly to changing circumstances.

Different safety barrier systems can be used depending on the application. Below is an overview of the products available and information about their properties.


Other Operational Safety Aids

In our online shop you will not only find impact protection systems and barriers, but also other products to safeguard your internal processes. Here you will find more useful aids - for example emergency lighting, floor marking and additional traffic safety equipment.


Changes and errors excepted. All information provided has been carefully researched. Nevertheless, DENIOS can not guarantee the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided.


Need more information or advice? Call 01952 700 567 to speak to a DENIOS expert.