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Total Protection – Industrial Facility Traffic Barrier Factors

Keep people safe and control traffic flow

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Photo of warehouse with guardrail installed to protect pallet rack.

Most industrial facilities utilize barriers to protect pedestrians, inventory, structure and equipment. When you walk around you will see these (mostly) yellow barriers installed in highly-trafficked or other zones where forklift impacts are possible. It’s a matter of safety. OSHA forklift and powered industrial truck regulations lack specific guidelines when it comes to barriers, but there are best practices to consider.

The options depend on your specific operating environment. Finding the right system (or set of systems) is important, so it’s a matter of this: what do you need your barriers to do?

It’s all about protection

flexible guardrail in a facilityOutfitting your facility with the right barriers means you should develop an understanding of each barrier’s role and mission.

Before you decide, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you protecting? This will make a significant difference in your choices. For instance, barriers with gates or access points could be needed for pedestrian walkways. Other types of barriers can be solid guards that never require access.
  • What type of environment will barriers be placed in? High or low temperatures, moisture, or other factors may affect your choices.
  • What angles of approach and impact zones will you need to consider? Determining the weight and travel speeds of the vehicles involved in day-to-day operations may change the specifications for your barrier project.

Read more: Guardrails and Impact Ratings 

Four key reasons to add barriers

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  1. Pedestrian protection – Workers, site visitors and other people should be your top priority. Providing a visual pathway for people to follow and for your motorized carts and forklifts to be aware of is an important step in reducing the amount of forklift/pedestrian accidents that could happen. Well-implemented barriers save lives, reduce downtime, affect worker compensation rates, insurance costs, and other factors. Simply put, separating people and traffic with hard barriers is key.
  2. Safeguard equipment – Barriers to shield high-profile equipment and machinery is also critical for safety and operational efficiency. Barriers keep your assets safe from forklift impacts that can shut down your entire operation. This saves costly repairs, replacements and headaches.
  3. Traffic routing – Using barriers to effectively route traffic is a smart way to be safer and more efficient. Directing foot and vehicle traffic in certain directions shortens walking distances between processes and reduces forklift-pedestrian interactions.
  4. Enhance safety – Well-planned barrier systems contribute to the overall sense of safety in your facility. This is not something to think of lightly, as reinforcing this culture can contribute to adherence to company safety policies, and employee buy-in to the safety atmosphere. Bright yellow barriers and guard rail around your facility show your employees and visitors you’re serious about safety….and that can breed further compliance.

These benefits are just the start. Evaluating your current warehouse for additional protection is a key way to economically increase safety. Consider areas like end of rack rows, building columns, machinery, work cells, pedestrian lanes and more.

More resources

Use the Cisco-Eagle guard rail guide

Download our Guard Rail Guide

Guard Rail and barriers offer key protection for both workers and equipment in any environment. Our guard rail guide offers insight into the different safety options available, and how to specify each for your working conditions. Check out our guide for offerings and applications, along with expert tips from our employee-owners.

Download the guide today


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