You would have to time travel back a far distance to find yourself in a workplace that didn’t take safety seriously. Think back to before 1975 – the year that the Health and Safety Executive was founded. Those working in high pressure environments, such as dock workers and coal miners, were forced to work to the bone with limited guarantee over their safety and security. This applies to both their physical safety and employment safety, too.
Nowadays, in 2017, every company is obliged to put workplace safety at the top of their priority list. What’s changed in just over 40 years?
The UK Government over the past four decades have passed laws and charters to guarantee that every worker in the UK has the right to turn up to work, carry out their duties and return home in a safe manner. It’s easy to say that this should have been in place way sooner, especially for those who have lived through more ‘precarious’ times. But the rules are in place now and abiding by them can only be a positive thing.
Companies in the modern era are now going beyond their minimal expectations to reduce the likelihood of accidents and hazards in the workplace. Safety barriers play a huge role in this and we hope to prove why more and more employers make use of them every day.
Safe Rather Than Sorry
The old wives tale of humanity benefiting from being safe rather than sorry is heavily applied to workplaces in the UK. It is extremely crucial to inform a workforce and highlight just how important workplace safety is and how a stringent Health and Safety policy will help them excel in their positions.
A premium level of safety in the workplace can come as a huge comfort to the workforce. The idea that an employee can walk into a working environment, whether it be a warehouse or a public building, and be completely safe is, at the very least, reassuring.
On the other hand, a slack effort towards workplace safety can lead to a potentially catastrophic chain reaction. Accidents such as trips and falls can happen easily and sometimes even the safest working environment cannot prevent accidents such as these from occurring. However, a more serious accident such as vehicle collisions can be minimised with the inclusion of some pretty standard safety measures. Standard, yes, but effective.
Workplace Safety, Revolutionised
21st century businesses are adapting and coming round to the idea of using the latest modern technology to enhance their operations in an ever-present digital and technological era. Customers are preferring to go about every aspect of their day-to-day lives online, including food and clothes shopping. Everything you could possibly want nowadays can be delivered straight to your door.
Conglomerates such as Amazon have picked up on this trend and it is becoming a reality that a customer’s order can be delivered by drone – something that seemed only a fantasy ten years ago. With that being said, companies are using this modernised initiative when it comes to workplace safety. It is safe to say that there’s no benefit in updating and expanding one aspect of a business if you’re not going to then expand and modernise all others. To put this in an analogy, that’s like having a speedboat with the engine of a Vespa – they don’t work well together.
If all areas of a business are brought forward to the 21st century, then everybody can benefit from the changes, surely? That’s why by ensuring your safety measures are brought to the same modern standard, your workforce can continue to feel safe in their jobs.
Up Step the Safety Barriers!
The implementation of safety barriers in the workplace can be useful when it comes to reducing the possibility of an accident. First are foremost, they are sturdy structures that are there to prevent entry into a potential hazard zone; therefore mitigating the chance of an accident. With safety barriers, you have two choices. Soft barriers, such as light safety curtains, can be installed in order to safeguard personnel from any potential foreign bodies. If you require something more robust, you can have a solid barrier instead.
Solid barriers are rooted to the ground using bolts. This optimises the productivity of the barrier and can guarantee longevity within the workplace. However, this can lead to some problems depending on the material in use.
A traditional steel barrier is extremely sturdy and protective, but it isn’t the most reliable material in the event of a collision. If a vehicle is to come into contact with a steel barrier in the event of an accident, the shock force and energy generated from the collision will travel to the source, rather than away from it. This means that the vehicle and the driver takes the brunt of the damage. This can become costly and can also cause harm to the employee concerned.
An Unstoppable Force
Without a doubt, it’s nothing less than beneficial to have the crème de la crème of safety materials, but you can also take further strides towards a near risk-free environment with the use of more basic Health and Safety protocols. Bright, vibrant high-vis clothing is useful in work spaces where visibility is restricted, like in warehouses and stock rooms.
They are also beneficial in environments with vehicles and pedestrians operating within the same space. If you implement basic measures, such as high-vis clothing, with the more sophisticated safety measures, like modular safety barriers, you are showing your workforce you are taking their safety very seriously.
Why Are Employers Making Use of Safety Barriers?
To ensure the safety of their workers – plain and simple! Another motto that is thrown around is that a safe worker is a productive one, which then benefits the business overall. This all adds up to the same utopian long division sum that every company wants the same answer to. What’s even better is that, with the right choice of safety measures, a company can even save a lot money (spent on repairs and potential sick pay) across the years.
With that being said, it’s important that time is spent in researching what is available. It is much more beneficial to have a variety of products to choose from; rather than restricting your range and trying to make one product with one purpose operate in a completely different manner. Remove this issue completely by taking on a helping hand from a company whose expertise lies in safety measures.
Modular Polymer vs Risky Steel
Instead of sticking with the traditional steel barrier, it might be a good time to consider a safety makeover in the form a modular polymer safety barrier. A polymer safety barrier gathers up the energy generated from any collision and disperses that energy amongst its own body, rather than back towards the source of the collision. Due to this, the barrier can retain its appearance and solidity for a much longer period of time than that of a steel barrier.
Some companies require a specifically designed barrier, which can become extremely expensive if you were to try and customise a steel kind. Polymer barriers, on the other hand, are extremely easy to install and customise. They are also easily transportable, so a barrier can be relocated to another area within the workplace with no difficulty whatsoever.
Finally, it is important to think about the cost of repairing a damaged steel barrier. Not only is the barrier damaged, but the surrounding floor space and vehicle is affected as well. However, with a polymer barrier, and the way it handles the generated energy, the floor is left damage-free. The vehicle doesn’t take on extra damage and most importantly, the driver comes away from the collision with no serious or life-threatening injuries.
Don’t Take a Risk – Protect Today
If you would like to bring the safety aspect of your business into the 21st century, then make a change that ensures your business and workforce are protected from January to December every year.
The first step in achieving this goal is to locate the risks and put the necessary measures in place. In an ideal world, every business would operate in a risk-free environment. However, due to human nature, this isn’t always possible. This is why it is important that every aspect of the workplace is analysed. Every potential hazardous scenario must be pinpointed and rectified with the inclusion of safety measures, like safety barriers and beyond. Don’t put workplace safety at risk, protect your business one step at a time.
If only the highest quality safety mechanisms are the way forward for your business, then companies like Boplan are handy. They have years’ worth of experience in ensuring workplace safety and can help you choose the ideal product(s) necessary to safeguard your business. If you want to get in touch with them and have a chat with one of their team, you can do so on 01902 824 280.