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A Safe address warehouse safety for workers

04 October 2009

Halifax-based safety barrier manufacturer, A Safe is encouraging the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to legislate increased safety standards for pedestrian and vehicle segregation across the manufacturing industry. Read more

Currently, the law states that road and pedestrian walkways should be demarcated, but this can be interpreted widely from physical barrier systems to a simple line painted on the factory floor. HSE figures show that over the past two years there have been 3,827 major injuries to workers as a result of workplace transport accidents, with 117 workers fatally injured over the past two years as a result. Being struck by a moving vehicle accounts for more than half of all fatal transport-related injuries.

A Safe are the industry leaders in providing pedestrian and vehicle barrier systems using their patented and highly visible plastic systems which are tough, durable and can withstand impacts from factory vehicles of up to 304KN (this is the equivalent of a 3.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 10MPH with a direct head on impact into the barrier. The weight or speed of the vehicle can dramatically increase as the impact angle changes). All barriers have been certified BS6180 and BS6399.

Company Director, James Smith explained: “Warehouse accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles are unfortunately a high risk associated with the manufacturing and warehousing industry, and currently there is no standard to provide workers with the best protection available. There is no comparison when it comes to a painted white line versus a tough barrier system, and companies have to ask themselves whether the cost of a safety system is justified against the value of keeping their staff safe.”

Traditional steel barriers have always been synonymous with strength, however A Safe’s systems have advanced technology, design and manufacturing processes, using alternative materials with equivalent physical strength but offering significant advantages and benefits. Each system has been manufactured from special high-impact coloured polymer and provides high impact absorption with little or no damage so maintenance and long term upkeep costs are minimal, if non-existent. Whilst traditional steel barriers may fulfil its function under impact, this will cause damage to both the barrier structure and the vehicle itself.

A Safe has over 25 years experience in the industry, and have several high-profile clients across a wide-variety of industries including ASDA, Coca-Cola, DHL and Toyota.

James added: “We have recently had a client that brought A Safe in to revise its safety procedures following an on-site fatality. The warehouse in question now has A Safe pedestrian barriers which are crucial in demonstrating layout and safety systems. Where employees see the A-Safe yellow barriers they instantly understand what it is and why it is there.

“However we are seeking to make safety barrier systems with independent loading tests and safety specification criteria an industry standard. This is to avoid companies only looking to introduce safety barriers with poor safety and performance standards or only once a serious accident has occurred. As it’s not currently law, we are asking company owners to look at the cost implications of installing physical barriers versus the value of protecting their workforce from accidents and the consequences and penalties this would incur,” he added.


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