The Importance of Warehouse Safety Guard Railing

Posted by Rhino Rails on May 14, 2020

Safety guard rail provides a physical and visual barrier in your warehouse. The goal of any facility is to be safe and avoid accidents. Our guard rail system is a low-cost investment as compared to the possible hard and soft costs of property damage. It doesn't take long to justify implementing safety guarding when you begin to compile the list of costs that it can prevent.

As a company, your building, capital equipment, and physical inventory can represent over half of your assets. An economical way to protect all three is to place protective guard rail in areas where forklift traffic is most likely to impact any of the three. The other major component is employee safety. Your most valuable asset, your people, will benefit from implementing safe driving practices and leveraging the safety of installing guard railing. The average weight of a loaded forklift moving through a warehouse is 10,000 lbs. moving at an average speed of 4 m.p.h. Most importantly, the load causes the driver to have many blind spots. The following common questions will help you with a starting point to start thinking of where placing guard rail may help you prevent future accidents in your facility.

What areas are common for Guard Rail placement in a warehouse/manufacturing setting?

  • Pedestrian walkways
  • Implant Offices
  • Workstations
  • Sensitive Machinery
  • End of Rack Aisles
  • Conveyor Lines
  • Mezzanines

Top 5 Things That Guard Rails Protect

  1. People
  2. Building Walls
  3. Valuable Equipment
  4. Pallet Racking
  5. Physical Inventory

The Differences Between Bolt-On and Lift-Out Guard Rail Systems

When choosing a guard rail for one's warehouse or manufacturing facility, there are some things to consider regarding the mobility of rails. For the most part, all posts for warehouse guard rail are anchored into the concrete. Therefore, once the posts are in place, it takes a lot of work to move their location. Essentially, they are fixed into place once installed. From there, rails are attached to the posts to create a barrier, which in combination creates the guard rail system. Rails can either be bolted into the posts through pre-drilled holes that match up with the corresponding guard rails, or they can be dropped into slots that are welded onto the posts. One system is called  guard rail because the rails are simply bolted into the posts, and the other system is called drop in guard rail since the rails are simply dropped into the slots on the posts.

Which guard rail system is right for you?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each style. Some benefits to bolt-on style guard rail are that it's typically less expensive, and it creates a more durable connection in the railing system since they are more secure. A disadvantage would be that you can't easily access areas once the rail is bolted into place. To remove the rail, requires taking out the bolts attaching it to the rail. However, it's rare that you would want to remove all railing in a system. A simple solution to this is to install lift out adapters only in the sections that you would want to possibly remove and leave the other sections bolted to the posts. The lift-out adapters bolt into the holes where rails would usually bolt in. Those adapters then act in the same way as welded slots would act on a lift out style guard rail.

One advantage to lift out guard rail is that all railings are removable. If you have a scenario in which you need to access all points behind the guard rail system, this could be more advantageous. Also, the initial install would be quicker since the rails don't need to be bolted into the posts; they can simply be dropped in. Some disadvantages to lift out guard rail is that it's typically more expensive due to the additional welding costs incurred in the manufacturing of the posts. Also, the rails are not as secure as bolt-on and will have more play since they are sitting in a slot instead of secured by bolts.

The Top 5 Reasons To Use Guarrail In Your Facility

Here are the top 5 reasons you should implement guard railing in your facility:

  1. Guard railing provides safe walkways for employees as they move through the facility.
  2. It gives you a bright yellow visual and physical barrier to develop traffic patterns in your warehouse.
  3. The corrugated rails are designed to take impacts, so it protects against costly damages to walls, equipment, shipping offices, or racking.
  4. It provides a simple permanent solution for a relatively low cost to avoid expensive repairs or accident costs.
  5. Guard rail is a flexible asset, the components allow you to add on at a later date, or you can remove the anchors and reconfigure as your needs change.
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