It may be logical to assume polymer-based safety barriers perform a simple but somewhat one-dimensional function in the workplace: They protect things – people, vehicles, equipment, structures.
But when they are implemented properly, they actually provide a range of benefits that can enhance facility performance and productivity.
It starts with layout. At the architectural stage, or when upgrading or redesigning a facility, polymer safety barriers will protect the vital components of a facility, but they will also guide, segregate, streamline and organise. And if a facility is organised, with clear segregation of people from vehicles, with clearly defined routes for pedestrians and traffic, with reduction of dangerous crossing points and with proper protection of structures and equipment, then the facility is set-up to be productive.
And if dangerous pedestrian/vehicle interactions can be designed out entirely at the planning stage, then long-term productivity is improved even further.
Second, barriers provide visual aids to prevent accidents. The barrier colour should be easily seen, so a bright yellow is best. The barriers will highlight pedestrian walkways and define traffic routes, improving work flow and greatly reducing the chances of the greatest calamity against workplace productivity – an accident.
Third, there is the reduction in maintenance. Polymer barriers are non-repaint, non-scratch, non-corrosive and, unlike steel barriers, they flex when they are impacted, the forces are dissipated and the floors do not rip up from the fixings. Reduced maintenance means reduced downtime, which in turn means improved performance.
Fourth, if accidents still occur, polymer barriers will minimise downtime. A modular barrier system that allows easy repairs of rails and posts without the uprooting of a whole run can save valuable production time.
Lastly, there is the human angle. A bright, well-protected, aesthetically-pleasing facility provides a morale boost to staff, who feel valued and safe. A happy workforce is a productive workforce.
Final proof that where there are polymer-based barriers there is intelligent health and safety. And where there is intelligent health and safety, there is improved productivity and performance.