Which safety barrier systems are best for your needs?

Safety barriers are a common solution to help protect staff, customers and the general public from safety hazards. Here is a guide to the different types of barrier and choosing the best option to suit your needs.

Safety barriers can help to prevent accidents or injuries for a number of reasons. They raise awareness and draw attention to safety hazards, restrict access to areas where untrained or non-authorised persons could have an accident and in some cases, they can physically prevent a person or vehicle from entering a dangerous area or reduce the impact of collisions. Employers and business owners have a legal responsibility to ensure safety measures are met under the ​​Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Click here to download the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

As well as protecting people from harm, safety barriers can also protect stock or equipment from damage and unauthorised access. They can also be used to control pedestrian traffic and flow -- a use which has been particularly relevant when enforcing social distancing and protecting staff and customers from coronavirus infection.

Different types of barriers are appropriate for different situations so here is a guide to the key types of barriers and where they are best suited for use.

Rigid or hard protective barriers

Usually used on roadsides, industrial or construction areas these are stronger than other safety barriers. When used by the roadside, it is advisable that barrier systems are implemented based on the Road Restraints Risk Assessment Process (RRRAP).

Click here to download the RRRAP.

While larger industrial, roadside or construction sites may invest in steel or concrete barriers, there are also many plastic, lightweight barrier systems which have the advantage of being portable and easy to transport and store.