When it comes to workplace traffic and pedestrian safety, having a range of temporary and moveable barriers works well as they are designed to safely separate pedestrians and vehicles, without impeding daily operations. While fixed or permanent barriers are the best way to ensure your staff and visitors are separated and kept safe from moving vehicles, it is not always practical to install permanent barriers due to the size of your site and operational requirements. In this blog, we explore the different types of temporary barrier solutions available. From stanchion belts to expandable fencing, we’ll showcase the best temporary barrier options and how they are best utilised to create safe exclusion zones which WorkSafe deem a must in keeping your team safe.
Retractable belt barriers
Retractable belts temporarily close off an area and prevent unauthorised access. These create an effective visual barrier to guide pedestrians, so are helpful for creating safe walkways that avoid hazards. They’re quick and efficient to set up and come in operational lengths of two metres to 46 metres, therefore are suitable when small or large areas need to be closed off. There are three different styles available, free-standing, bollard-mounted and wall-mounted depending on the purpose of use, and a range of colours are also available including the popular hazard stripe.
As some of these retractable belts are designed to be weather-resistant, they can also be used in outdoor settings. Common applications for the retractable belt barriers include in warehouses, factories, aisle cordoning and guiding people in public areas.
Freestanding retractable belts are a great portable solution, as they only require the belt and stand to operate effectively. These self-contained stanchions are great for queue control and pedestrian guidance as they can be quickly reconfigured depending on the volume of people coming through. They also assist in improving productivity and operational efficiencies and a sign can be added to the poles to provide additional instructions. The high-visibility black and yellow striped belts are suitable for industrial environments and create an effective visual barrier for use around exclusion zones, safe walkways and workplace hazards.
Wall-mounted retractable belts allow the user to pull the belt out of a fixed point and attach it to a wall-mounted receiver clip. The wall mount can easily be removed if the barrier needs to be relocated. There is the option of having a magnetic end on the belt, which is suitable for use with steel surfaces, such as structural elements or pallet racking.
Bollard-mounted retractable belts pull out of portable posts and are often used for providing pedestrian walkways in industrial environments. Vanguard Group has developed the Safe Zone Belt Barrier System which utilises our standard retractable belts and mounts them to a steel bollard on wheels, making barriers easier to shift around. The portability of the Safe Zone belt is especially helpful for excluding people from truck loading and unloading zones, as these areas require regular adjusting as vehicles move through.
In situations where there is a wider area to close off such as loading yards, the new Porta-Zone Belt barrier system is the best solution, as it has two 23 metre long belt reels that can cordon off lengths of up to 46 metres in two different directions. The manual tension system also ensures that there is reduced sag in the belts when extended out to longer lengths, making it a practical solution when cordoning off large areas.
Expandable safety barriers
There are many different types of expandable safety barriers available, each with a unique collapsible or foldable design, making them suitable for temporary barrier solutions that can be implemented rapidly.
Our most popular New Zealand made expandable barrier option has a criss-cross design that conveniently folds back and swivels out the way when not in use. They’re ideal for cordoning off equipment or areas where there are dangers or simply to prevent unauthorised access into an area and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The wall-mounted version is suitable for use in dockways and warehouse areas that often need to be closed off and has a middle wheel for easy setup. The portable version comes with wheels on both ends, so can be moved into different situations as required.
The Safegate Barrier is a compact and lightweight design, consisting of four 750mm wide plastic panels that are joined together to create a barrier. This modular design means that it can easily be configured to match your needs. For example, it can create a square to block off a ladder base or fold over onto itself to create a short barrier for permitting access into a doorway or escalator. It’s easy and fast to deploy, therefore suitable for when areas need to be blocked off quickly, such as cordoning of spills, trip hazards and maintenance areas. They can also be folded away for efficient storage when not in use.
Protective barriers do more than just serve as a visual deterrent, they aim to safeguard in the case of a collision. To achieve this, portable protective barriers are commonly weighted down with water, which can be timely to set up. The Strong Wall protective barriers are very effective as they are self-weighted (18kg per metre), and join together to give you a sturdy, durable safety barricade solution. As they stack 18 to a pallet, they are also very space-efficient for storage when not in use. Their heavy design makes them suitable temporary fence in high wind areas or locations where you need some extra protection and can also be supplied with anti-trip feet for high pedestrian activity areas.
While fixed barriers are the best method of separating pedestrians and vehicles on-site, these are not always practical to implement. Temporary barriers such as retractable belts, Strong Wall, Safegate, and Expandable Barriers all provide a sufficient solution to creating safe pedestrian areas and exclusion zones and are suitable for different purposes.
At Vanguard Group, we believe in making it as easy as possible to implement leading safety procedures. Good traffic and pedestrian management allow people and vehicles to coexist safely and efficiently using the most effective solutions. For more information about improving traffic safety, download our Traffic and Pedestrian Management Guide which is full of useful tips and products designed to help mitigate harm.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to discuss safety solutions directly with one of our experienced consultants, please contact us using the form below and we’ll respond within 60 minutes. Our team is available to conduct site safety assessments with you, which allows us to understand your challenges and recommend a solution that works for your site.