In many workplaces, people need to work in areas where vehicles are also moving around, sometimes in close proximity to each other. The lack of separation can create a number of problems, particularly in terms of increasing the potential for accidents. Getting struck by workplace transport is one of the biggest causes of injury in working environments. As a result, companies need to have the right barrier safety systems in place to adhere to health and safety requirements.
Safety systems for these workspaces need to be carefully designed. First off you need to consider the degree of segregation you need to keep people safe. This will differ depending on the type of setting and vehicles in question. Keeping pedestrian and vehicle traffic separate is the best way to reduce risks, but there are some cases when this is not possible, especially if there are spatial limitations. When you can do this traffic flows should be clearly marked and a suitable size so that they don’t overlap.
Secondly, you need to account for visibility and ensure that both vehicle drivers and pedestrians will have a clear view of each other. This is particularly important in areas with tight bends and blind corners where it is difficult to determine what is just out of sight. You should cater for these settings and ensure that sight lines and visibility are as clear as possible.
The third thing you need to do is have a close handle on the speed that vehicles move around the working environment. You should have tight limits in place so that it is easier for a vehicle to stop in an emergency. The limit should be consistent across the site and be enforced to ensure people stick to it. You can also have additional speed control measures in place, but you need to make sure these don’t inadvertently increase risks by making vehicles unstable.
The working environment should be properly lit, clearly signposted and have traffic ways marked. Where necessary you should also have barriers in place and ensure everybody follows the barrier safety regulations. They can be used to provide additional separation and prevent vehicles from venturing from their traffic routes. You can also use them to protect vulnerable parts of the structure itself.