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Car Park Safety & Traffic Calming How-To Guide

1. Security Bollard

Do bollards stop cars?

Protecting your building fronts and busy walkway entrances from any potential vehicle mishaps is a serious business. Standard bollards are either surface mounted or potted, frequently installed without steel reinforcement, or concrete cores. Those bollards won’t be strong enough to stop a vehicle travelling at 5kmph. Quality bollards with impact testing results and capabilities are the right choice for a safer environment.

Are bollards safe?

Bollards become defective after vehicular impact or when poorly maintained.  A damaged bollard may cause a trip hazard. If a surface mounted bollard is impacted with great force, the bollard potentially could become a dangerous projectile, which could cause injury or fatality.  It is always recommended that you consult with your supplier, and choose the correct bollard for your application.

What is a security bollard?

Re-enforced bollards, aka ‘Anti-ram’ bollards are the preferred choice to create a pedestrian walkway, protecting glazing and building fabrics, while keeping your storefront secure. The correct choice of safety bollard protects against out-of-control vehicles.

Bollard types

Example security bollard specification:

  • Heavy-duty galvanised core for added strength.
  • Cast-in (potted) installation. Typically 1000mm above ground, 400 below.
  • Fill Bollard Core with concrete (usually 4:2:1 mix)

HSA bollard recommendation:

“Consider limiting vehicle speed using traffic calming measures, for example, speed humps, and bollards. However, ensure that the correct calming measure is selected for the traffic type as inappropriate use may create an additional hazard. Ensure bollards are clearly visible and if appropriate well lit and/or reflective.”

• HSA: Car Park Risk Assessment

HSA: “When assessing the workplace and planning traffic routes consider the work activities, the traffic type, the volume and circulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Take account of commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, large goods vehicles, courier vehicles and tankers that visit the workplace.”

Consider vehicles that may infrequently if ever visit the workplace for example emergency vehicles. Include internal vehicles such as forklift trucks, tugs, visitor and staff vehicles which may include cars, motorbikes and bicycles. Remember to include pedestrian traffic such as site employees, other people’s employees, visitors and contractors.”

All traffic entering the workplace must be directed and controlled as far as practicable. If the place of work is a shared site or you do not own the site, you may have to work with other employers or the landlord to ensure that workplace transport is adequately managed on-site.

Due to the different site-specific variables, there is no set speed limit requirement, perform your own risk assessment and then decide what’s a safe limit for you. General car park guidance reccomends between 10 – 25kmph. We recommend 10kmph in a high pedestrian traffic car park like a supermarket or hospital.

Car park accident claim causes

  • An inattentive driver due to fatigue causing delayed reactions
  • Drivers being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Moving pedestrians on the road such as animals or children, causing sudden braking
  • Hazardous driving conditions e.g. snow, black ice
  • Drivers being distracted by their mobile phones
  • Faulty car features e.g. failed indicators

2. Armco Steel Guardrail

Do I need a car park barrier system?

  • Are my pedestrian walkways sufficiently safe?
  • Is there sufficient visability where vehicles are entering and exiting parking spaces?
  • Do pedestrian and vehicular routes overlap?
  • Do I need to segregate areas for different vehicle access?

AA Insurance on car park accidents

“Whether it’s a crunch, wallop, groan or bang the sound of your car crashing into another vehicle or object is a total misery for any driver.

Unfortunately, as many drivers discover, fender benders happen in car parks on a very regular basis. A recent AA car insurance poll reveals that 25% of drivers in this country have damaged their vehicles while parking over the last three years.”

Reducing car park accidents with safety barriers

  • Segregate pedestrians from vehicles.
  • Provide obvious separate footpaths or walkways for pedestrians. The width of the walkway should be wide enough for the number of people expected to use it. In our above illustration example, we’ve installed heavy-duty steel crash barriers to protect customers and staff.

Guardrail barrier types

Armco crash barrier system protects people, machinery and property against injury and damage from a moving vehicle.

The versatility of the Armco barrier allows it to be used as a single or a multiple height barrier. The legs can be either bolted down or cast into the ground. The legs can also be adapted to carry an integral handrail for effective pedestrian protection.

Technical specification & barrier regulations:

In most countries, the minimum height for pedestrian safety barriers is 900mm from the floor.

 

HSA barrier recommendation:

“If there is heavy pedestrian traffic on-site, consider traffic lights, subways or pedestrian bridges. Consider the provision of barriers, rails or pedestrian deterrent paving to direct pedestrians to designated crossing points and prevent pedestrians crossing at blind spots.”

• Diagonal or Horizontal Parking Layout?

Angled

90 Degree

Is there a minimum recommended lighting level in public car parks?

Lighting standards vary between a minimum of 75 lux to more than 300 lux. A good guideline is an average of 150 lux and a minimum of 100 lux in a public car park.

Customer versus staff car park space allocation

Shopping Centres: 5-6 spaces per 1000 sq. ft

Office Buildings: 1 space per 300 – 400 sq. ft

3. Bike Parking

Cycle / bike parking saves space; 10 bicycles can be parked for every one parked car.

Where should I install my bike rack?

  • Cycle parking should be in a prominent well-lit location in order to maximise surveillance throughout the day.
  • Install near busy areas like building entrances—position within 50 feet of these entranceways.
  • Study likely pedestrian movement patterns and direct paths to ensure that cycle stands do not obstruct routes.

Signage

Clear legible signage is essential to promote the allocation of cycle spaces, directions to the bike storage area, and signage within the racks themselves. Communicate the area is exclusively for bike storage.

Cycle parking allocation requirements

  • Multi-Storey Car park = 10% of car parking spaces
  • Public Buildings = 5% of the number of visitors per day
  • Train Stations = 5 per number of trains at peak period
  • Bus Interchanges = 1 per 50 passengers peak flow

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

  • Sheffield Hoop / U-rack
  • Bollard
  • Wave

What is the difference between long-term and short-term bike parking?

Long-term bike parking – (apartments, office, university campus)

  • Sheltered with added protection and enclosure
  • Bikes may be stored for over two hours
  • Lockers and storage

The benefit of long-term parking is more secure protection against bicycle theft as space is more enclosed with better surveillance. Illegal entry is greatly reduced, and cyclists can leave their bike attachments on their bikes.

Short-term bike parking – (supermarkets, car parks, petrol stations, public streets)

  • Unsheltered and unenclosed
  • Intended for less than two hours
  • Usually a bike rack

The benefits of short-term bike parking are, ease of use as it is positioned within close proximity to building entrances or high-traffic areas. It provides some security, but nothing major since bike stands are highly accessible in busy open public areas.

• Traffic Flow

Avoid congestion, allow ease of movement

Vehicle flow rates will need to be factored into calculations for the number of spaces to be provided, to meet demand at peak times, for example, a shopping centre or hospital car park.

Ideally there should be no dead ends in a car park. This results in cars needing to perform a turn around/reverse. Visibility is usually poor, so this can be very hazardous.

If you have no choice but to create a dead-end, make sure you allocate and mark ample space as a turnaround area. Drivers can safely turn around with better visibility.

4. Car Park Bollard

Why do you need bollards?

Hazards are commonplace in car parks.

Different bollard types are available for different scenarios.

Walkway Bollards: used to demarcate and identify pedestrian crossings.

Flexible Traffic Bollards: Delineate and separates pedestrian routes

Fold Down Bollard: Primarily used secure a reserved spot or private parking.

Flexible traffic bollard

High Viz Bollards are used by both pedestrians and drivers alike to create easy-to-understand safe routes and allow efficient and safer progression throughout the car park.

Demarcation and delineation

  • Traffic lanes
  • Cycle tracks
  • Pedestrian walkways
  • Prohibited zones
  • Light-duty security
  • Sharp bends

Polymer Car Park Bollard​

Flexible Bollard Technical Specification:

  • Reflective warning bands, therefore, improved high visibility safety
  • Flexes on impact, returns to an upright position
  • Highly durable plastic
  • Quick bolt down installation
  • Check the correct anchors and fixings are supplied

How much bollard spacing?

Bollards should be spaced  1 – 1.5m apart. This allows wheelchairs and pedestrians through, but not cars.

HSA road markings and signpost recommendation:

Mark and signpost all vehicular and pedestrian traffic routes both internally and externally. Mark or signpost information such as any restricted/no parking areas, pedestrian crossings, traffic lanes, directions, junctions, stop lines, changes in gradient, kerbs, bollards, route edges, limited head space areas, speed limits and sharp bends.

• Avoid Reversing

HSA: Eliminate the need for reversing, where possible. Consider one way systems and drive through loading and unloading areas, turning points or if space is limited consider engineering controls such as turntables.

HSA Tips

• Remove the need for reversing
• One way systems
• Identify & mark reversing areas
• Install wheel stop blocks or buffers to prevent vehicles from reversing into resticted areas
• Reversing aids

HSA Parking Recommendation:

Ensure that parking areas do not obstruct key access routes or fire hydrants. Where possible provide drive-through parking spaces. If this isn’t feasible, encourage staff to reverse into parking spaces as this reduces the number of vehicles reversing out into a flow of traffic and improves visibility for departing vehicles.”

5. Lampost Protector

The AA says that at least 20% of all insurance claims come from car park accidents – the most common category of car insurance claims.

Customers or staff damaging their car by reversing into a lampost or opening their door into a steel pole is unsafe and expensive.

Why use lamp post protectors?

Lamp post pole protectors safeguard vulnerable lamp posts against shunts and low-speed impacts. Some are high visibility making them stand out to pedestrians and drivers.

Who is liable for damage in a car park?

Lawfully, car park proprietors are only accountable for damage or loss that has been caused by the negligence of the company or its employees, and vehicle owners need evidence of this.

HSA car park   recommendations:

Provide impact protection for vulnerable parts of the workplace such as lamp posts, pipework, and columns

Polyethylene lampost specification:

  • Polyethylene Lamp post protectors are quick and easy to install. Tough moulded Polyethylene and high-density foam core will absorb vehicle nudges and low-speed impacts, avoiding damage to vehicle bumpers and/or the sign post itself
  • Hi-vis yellow with 3 bands of diamond grade reflectors – visible in all weathers
  • 7 year colourfast and UV stabilised material formula

• EV Electric Charge Point Protection

EV (electric vehicle) charge points are high value items.

To adequately protect your commercial EV charge point, install either a potted security bollard or low level safety hoops. Potted protection offers greater impact protection than a bolt down option.

6. Convex Traffic Mirror

Why use a convex traffic mirror?

There are many areas in a car park where a driver’s field of vision could be decreased leading to dangerous manoeuvres. Narrow corners, blind spots, and ‘turn-around’ areas.

Avoid accidents and claims

Dealing with collisions is time-consuming and stressful. An insurance claim can take months or longer.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Do convex mirrors work?

Traffic mirrors provide a wider field of view for both pedestrians and drivers.

They help in identify oncoming hazards, eliminating potential impact.

 

Where should I place my car park convex mirror?

Position your convex mirror in such a way, that allows optimal viewing and best possible angle.

Mount a convex mirror on a suitable pole , typically 2-3 metres high. The bigger the mirror, the wider the viewing distance.

HSA Visibility & Reversing Aids Recommendation:

“Improvement in visibility is achieved by fitting appropriate aids such as extra (convex) mirrors and CCTV to give adequate visibility to the front, sides and rear and work place layout.”

 

7. Pedestrian Crossing Ramp

Why do you need pedestrian crossings?

HSA Pedestrian Safety: “People being hit or run over by vehicles is one of the main causes of workplace fatalities. By law pedestrians and vehicles must be able to circulate safely in the workplace.”

Vulnerable car park users

Occasional customers, or new staff are likelier to have an accident due to their unfamiliarity with the car park routes and traffic flow system.

Pedestrian Crossing Ramp - rubber specification

  • Usually manufactured from rubber, modular in design, allowing you to create a ramp size specific to your road width
  • Crossings should be non-slip surfaces. The non-slip surface structure standard is European 45SRT
  • Pick a colour variation that is high-visibility and contrasts from roadway, making it visible from a distance
  • They should have an elevated rubber threshold that slows down vehicles (double up as a speed ramp)

Traffic island refuge

HSA Pedestrian Safety Recommendation:

“Provide pedestrian crossing points which have good visibility for both the driver and the pedestrian. If the road is wide, provide a central refuge for the crossing pedestrian. If there is heavy pedestrian traffic on site, consider traffic lights, subways or pedestrian bridges. Consider the provision of barriers, rails or pedestrian deterrent paving to direct pedestrians to designated crossing points and prevent pedestrians crossing at blind spots.

• Disabled Parking & Restricted Mobility Access

How many spaces in a public car park that must be reserved for disabled motorists?

Each local authority sets out its own parking standards in the current Development Plan. Minimum requirements for disabled parking provision are usually included and these tend to be incorporated into planning permissions. In most local authorities the current requirement is for 1% of total spaces to be set aside for disabled motorists. Note: UK standards tend to be higher than Irish standards.

  • Parking spaces should be no more than 160ft / 50m from the building entrance
  • Access aisle should be 4ft / 1.2m wide
  • Spaces to be clearly marked with signpost and surface marked disabled logos

8. Shelter Types

Smoking Shelter Regulation Checklist

  • Check with your local council if you need planning permission.
  • Could noise from staff smoking in the shelter cause disruption for neighbours?
  • If it has lights, will it cause light pollution?
  • Ensure your shelter complies with the OTC (Office of Tobacco Control) regulations, whereby 50% of the wall open area is ventilated
  • Perform a risk assessment to ensure car park shelter is safely located
  • Will exiting smoke go into adjacent building windows or vents?

How many people fit inside a smoking shelter?

Depending on how many employees / visitors you need to accommodate, there are typically 2 different shelter sizes: 6 person / 10 person

Commercial Shelter Types

  • Taxi
  • Ticket/payment machine
  • Staff/smoking
  • Bike storage
  • Trolley bay

What surface type should you attach your shelter to?

  • Concrete is the ideal surface for installation. The surface needs to be hard/robust and level.

• Car Park Signage

  • Clear, visible, pictorial, colour coded, logical and informative.
  • Use internationally-recognised pictograms
  • Regular inspection of signs is required to ensure the display is correct, and have not been defaced by graffiti, or obscured by weather damage.

Well designed and informative signage helps maintain a recognised circulation of traffic and safe operational conditions.

Signs should be consistent through and continuous along vehicle and pedestrian routes.

Ensure legibility by attention to lettering size and style, use strong colours on a non-distracting background, good lighting without glare. Good contrast is also critical.

9. Speed Ramps

Human error

Careless drivers, impatience and distractions are all cause for human error.

Pedestrians pushing loaded shopping trolleys, carrying young children, or immersed in their electronic devices could also lead to serious accidents.

“The majority of road crashes are caused by human error. Research has shown that driver error accounts for over 80% of all fatal and injury crashes on Irish roads”

What speed bump type should I pick?

All speed bumps aren’t the same.

Be sure to check the speed bump product specification. Look for:

  • Traffic type: low or high volume
  • Trucks and HGV compatible 

How far apart should speed bumps be spaced?

“Good design practice is to space appropriate features as regularly and frequently as practicable (70m to 100m).

Poor design practice is to have features that encourage harsh braking and consequent heavy acceleration in between (severe features or spacing greater than 120m apart).

It is advisable to locate the first feature in a system of traffic calming close (40m to 60m) to a point on the road where speeds are already lowered. Such locations include a junction, tight bend etc.30 Where this is not possible advance signing and gateways or entry treatments would help to alert drivers and riders to the need to slow down and take care.”

Traffic Management Guidelines Ireland

What's the difference between a speed bump and a speed hump?

Speed bumps are made of plastic or rubber and have high visibility and hazard markings.

Speed humps traverse the entire road width. They appear as part of the road itself because they are covered in asphalt or tarmac. More commonly seen in residential estates.

Is there a standard height for speed bumps?

Recommended speed bump height depends on your country and road type.

In Ireland, there are generally 2 heights, 50mm and 75mm high for a more severe warning.

HSA Traffic Control/Speed Recommendation:

“Consider limiting vehicle speed using traffic calming measures for example, rumble strips, speed humps, narrowing roads using bollards, raised curbs. However, ensure that the correct calming measure is selected for the traffic type as inappropriate use may create an additional hazard. Ensure that any traffic calming measures are clearly visible and if appropriate well lit and/or reflective.”

• Landscaping

HSA Landscaping Recommendations:

Ensure that drivers have adequate visibility to enable them to see hazards. Check that landscaping does not affect visibility especially at junctions. In certain situations, boundary wire mesh fencing may be more appropriate in certain site areas where a wall may restrict vision.

  • Use plants with a slow capacity for growth
  • Keep plants below 1 metre hight
  • Plan a maintenance regime
  • Prickly bushes are a useful disincentive on boundaries

Where car parks are developed on sites with existing mature plating, the layout should allow for the retention of good quality trees and shrubs.

10. Trolley Bays

Why install a trolley bay?

Missing shopping trolleys have to be replaced, and they aren’t cheap. Plus, if lost trolleys end up in local neighbourhoods, they can lead to an accident. This will hurt your brand and may lead to fines.

Loose trolleys are car park hazards

Loose trolleys become car park hazards and lead to vehicle impacts and damage. If a trolley bay isn’t clearly visible relatively nearby, customers will leave trolleys in stray places.

Trolley bay benefits

Convenient and prominent shopping trolleys bays help customers buy more products per visit. Customers don’t want to carry their needed items by hand. Bays also keep trolleys organised. It’s imperative you have multiple trolley bays in high traffic areas to create a seamless customer experience.

Mini trolley bay - suitable for indoor use

Generic modular trolley bay specification:

  • Material: steel frame & polycarbonate panels
  • Fits in a single parking space & accommodates a total of 36 trolleys (3 wide)
  • Dimensions: 4221mm long x 2473mm wide x 2302mm high

Where should I locate my trolley bay?

A customer should never need to walk more than 40 or 50 meters to a trolley bay. Think elderly shoppers and mothers with children. Trolley bays should be highly visible from a distance too.

11. Wheel Stops

Problems that require wheel stops

Sloppy and dangerous parking outside of the designated car park space markings can lead to vehicle collisions or pedestrian accidents. Vehicles reversing into dangerous low-vision or prohibited areas.

Why should I install wheel stops?

Installing and continually inspecting traffic calming solutions may take time and money. But leaving yourself open to future collisions and claims will cost you far more. As a car park owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure you have taken every possible precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. Wheel stops are an affordable solution that vastly improves car park safety. 

What do wheel stops do?

Wheel Stops add both safety and aesthetic appeal to your parking complex. A wheel stop alerts the driver about the designated parking zone. They can prevent vehicles from infringing on walkways or disabled spaces. Stop drivers reversing into dangerous areas.

Measure area beyond wheel stop that back or front of the vehicle will exceed

Wheel stop specification checklist:

  • Area of installation: residential, commercial, or industrial
  • HGV truck or car use
  • The volume of traffic: low or high

HSA wheel stop recommendation:

“install stop blocks or buffers to prevent vehicles reversing onto people / structures”

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Armco Barrier – Expert Guide & Ireland’s Largest Armco Selection

Steel safety barrier for car parks and asset protection, safety high-vis accessories available

Armco Barrier protects people, assets, and property.

Bollards suppliers showroom display in Dublin warehouse

Armco Barrier Beam Dimensions

  • Beams are supplied in 3.5m lengths (3.2m effective)
  • 310mm high
  • 3mm galvanised steel thickness
  • 85mm deep (front to back)
  • Weight 40kg
Double height steel crash barrier for heavy duty protection and safety

“Installing Armco requires numerous considerations”

Get A Quote

Armco is for low impact specification in a range of industries:

  • Car Parks
  • Industrial
  • Residential
  • Warehouse
  • Pharma
  • Logistics & Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

Posts / Legs

Armco is a single or multiple height barrier.

The posts/legs are either bolted down or cast into the ground. 

Bolt Down Installation

Posts are available in “Z” or “RSJ” type.

Various heights:

  • 560mm
  • 760mm
  • 1100mm

Please specify single or double beam when ordering. Posts are typically drilled for single beam as standard.

Cast in Installation

  • Cast in RSJ post means permanent fix into the concrete. 
  • Potted legs require “300mm x 300mm x Dept of leg+100mm” concrete foundation.
  • ***SVL does not currently offer installation on potted posts ***
Cast in steel crash barrier for heavy duty protection and safety

Armco - Corners

carsh barrier 90 degree steel corner

External 90° Corner

Internal 90° Corner

Armco Safety Crash Barrier 90° external corner

Flexible Armco Corner

Armco Barrier - Accessories

Armco Safety Barriers are finished with a terminal end.

The most common type being the galvanised fishtail end.

Polymer

– Fishtail Terminal

– Pedestrian End

– Safety End

Galvanised Steel

– Fishtail Terminal

– Pedestrian End

– Bullnose

– Handrail

Rubber

– End Cover

Barrier Safety Standards

Manufactured to meet BS6399 and BS6180:1999 British Safety Standards and are galvanised to EN ISO1461

*Please note*, our Armco barrier is ‘off-road’ certified. Not for use in high traffic areas or for high-speed road side use.

Picture of SVL team in warehouse - with prices, quote call to action text? Ireland suppliers

Get A Quote

If you need assistance or guidance on how to protect your people and property, get in touch today. Damage is inevitable, workplaces are unpredictable, SVL solutions are essential.

In addition to steel crash barrier, other products for sale in our Car Parks & Traffic Range: speed ramps and speed bumps, crash barrier systems, post protectors, convex mirrors, bike racks and shelters.

SVL Ltd Youtube Channel

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Safety Barrier Comparison 2021

Choosing the right barrier guide, last thing you want is replacing barriers and bad building damage and repairs, or worse, an accident

1. Safety

Visibility

Quite simply, your best defence in a fast moving environment is being seen.

High visibility yellow barriers are critical for for worker and forklift driver safety, especially for protecting warehouse pedestrian walkways

A warehouse manager once said: “High visibility barriers changed our people’s awareness. They have consciously and subconsciously improved habits, which now results in far fewer impacts.”

The high visibility feature heightens awareness and reduces accidental impact damage. You should aim to create a culture of safety first with your employees.

A high-vis yellow guardrail will safely define and restrict pedestrian access to hazardous and dangerous areas.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Visibility
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Visibility
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Visibility
5/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Visibility
5/5

Accidents

Protruding edges, sharp corners, rough steel, chipped powder coat can cause undue harm and injury to personnel. The slightest nick to sensitive skin could mean an infection to the staff member.

reduce worker accidents with plastic barriers, less trip hazard fixings, no sharp corners, keep your people safe

The soft rounded profile that an HDPE flexible barrier offers, is far less likely to cause injury to your people.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Accidents
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Accidents
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Accidents
4/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Accidents
5/5

Protection

“Barrier coverage” describes the surface area a barrier protects. In most countries, the minimum height for safety barriers/guardrails is 900mm from the floor.

How much does protection coverage or safety area does my barrier give my workers? Barrier forks can be very dangerous, HSA reccomends heavy duty barriers for forklift areas

Some barriers have ground level protection beams, some have double level protective beams, and some have a full height (usually up to 1100mm high)

Light duty hoop barriers do not perform well in the case of protection coverage – they are primarily used for delineation, highlighting and restricting access.

Steel crash barrier guardrails fair well in this category. With different posts available, beams can be positioned at different heights, there’s also a handrail add-on. Steel Crash Barrier/Guardrail Guide

HDPE Barriers will give you maximum protection levels, for example, warehouse pedestrian walkways.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Protection
4/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Protection
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Protection
1/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Protection
5/5

2. Damage & Collisions

Durability

“Durability is the ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage, without significant deterioration in quality”

How long will my barrier last? Well, that depends on a few external factors.

Which barrier you choose depedns on the area, forklifts need heavy duty, trolleys need light duty. Image shows light duty steel walkway barrier

Steel barriers: Ask yourself, are the barriers galvanised, is it likely to rust, is it powder coated, or painted? How thick, and what grade steel has been used to manufacture the barrier?

Polymer barrier: Stronger than steel and independently tested for impact. Is the product UV stabilised, what life span can I expect? Also, familiarise internal components and design.

As part of your Health and Safety policy, you should implement a regular check on the integrity of the barrier systems. Has there been a major impact? Do you need to replace the system or call your local maintenance team?

Barrier impact test report example excerpt:
“equivalent to an impact from a 6,500 lb [2948 kg] vehicle traveling at 4.5 mph [7.2 km/h]. In testing, the barrier was subjected to higher loadings and further deflections.”

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Durability
4/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Durability
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Durability
1/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Durability
5/5

Vehicle Protection

Forklifts and material handling equipment are an expensive investment, consider the damage a barrier type may inflict on your machinery.

Inexperienced and under-trained forklift operatives are one of the most dangerous hazards to your staff, vehicles and property.

Impacts and accidents are inevitable, therefore selecting a hi-vis polymer safety barrier that doesn’t have acute corners or hard edges will minimise superficial damage to your forklift.

Steel on steel impact = scratches to both vehicle and the barrier.

Image of forklift safely impacting flexible safety barrier, steel barriers would damage your forklift and result in costly repairs
Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Vehicle Protection
2/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Vehicle Protection
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Vehicle Protection
3/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Vehicle Protection
5/5

Impacts

Different impact barriers will absorb deflected impacts at varying angles better than others.

When deciding what barrier, assess what traffic, is it pedestrian, forklift or trolley? If forklift traffic route, install a heavy duty barrier

To simplify the impacts that may be happening in your premises, prepare a risk assessment – label the type of impact into light, medium or heavy impact.

  • LIGHT impact is classed as general wear & tear from pedestrian or light goods trollies
  • MEDIUM impact is a stacked pallet truck
  • HEAVY impact is a forklift, van or truck
Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Deflected & Direct Impacts Defence
4/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Deflected & Direct Impacts Defence
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Deflected & Direct Impacts Defence
2/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Deflected & Direct Impacts Defence
5/5

3. Upkeep & Hygiene

Maintenance

Maintenance is an integral part of every business.

Is the barrier scratched – can you repaint it with the matching colour?

Do you need to touch up rust spots?

barrier maintenance is costly, repairs, etc. Assign staff to do regiular barrier checks. Is pint it visible, it it loose? Is it safe?

If you choose the latest polymer designs, then a quick wipe of clean damp cloth will drastically cut your maintenance budgets over time and keeps your premises looking newer for longer.

As part of your Health and Safety policy, you should implement a regular check on the integrity of the barrier systems. Has there been a major impact? Do you need to replace the system or call your local maintenance team?

A maintenance manual (O&M manual) should be a key part of your companies safety policy.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Maintenance
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Maintenance
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Maintenance
2/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Maintenance
5/5

Material Types

“Decisions decisions – should I choose a metal barrier or a polymer barrier?”

Ask yourself, will the barrier contribute to your overall health and safety policy.

Barrier material types as follows: PVC, HDPE flexible, steel galvanised, powder coated steel

Polymer HDPE Barriers are the preferred option especially where hygiene is at the forefront eg. pharmaceuticals, food & drink processing, healthcare, cosmetic manufacturing industries to name a few.

Contamination is a constant worry, so pick a product that is easy to keep clean.

Traditional metal barriers may have slight corrosion, starting to chip (flaky paint), and often get overlooked if a regular cleaning schedule is not maintained.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Material
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Material
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Material
4/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Material
5/5

Building & General Repairs

Heavy duty impacts will likely ‘rip up’ your floor.
Industrial grade floors are extremely expensive to install and expensive to repair (1sqm could cost up to €1,000)

Floor damage is common after a heavy duty barrier impact like a forklift hit, get floor protecting barriers

With this in mind, consider which barrier system is least likely to damage your floor following impact, and least likely to cost you unforeseen repair costs.

An incorrectly placed barrier is a serious subject, a collapsed wall or pallet rack could potentially be fatal, make sure this doesn’t happen.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Floor Protection
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Floor Protection
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Floor Protection
3/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Floor Protection
5/5

4. Installation

Difficulty

How difficult is it to install a Safety Barrier?
Naturally, this is heavily dictated by experience and training.

If you are familiar with power tools and can follow instructions, most maintenance persons can install a barrier without too much difficulty.

Installing safety barriers can be tricky. The qustions are, do you have the power tools, experience and training?

Considerations:
If I’m installing a steel barrier – how heavy it is? Do I need more than 1 person to assist in manoeuvring the material?

Should I use a ‘bolt down’ fixture, or invest in a ‘cast in’ option…

What is the substrate type? Is the substrate in good condition. Are there underlying services to be aware of.

Do I have the required power tools, if I don’t, how much will it cost to hire or purchase new ones? Do I need specialist equipment – do I need a cert to use specialist equipment.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Ease Of Install
1/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Ease Of Install
4/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Ease Of Install
5/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Ease Of Install
2/5

Creating Perimeters

A Standard Metal Hoop Barrier is not usually considered modular – as it is usually fabricated in single units. Add on mods are generally installed ‘side by side’.

The graphic below shows a modular forklift barrier protecting an extra-large warehouse structural column where a standard column guard wouldn’t fit. 

Modular barriers basically accomodate and space or perimeter as you so please, extra large columns need modular barriers as standard column protection doesn't fit

“Modular – constructed with standardised units or dimensions for flexibility and variety in use”

Both the heavy-duty crash barrier and the polymer barriers are considered modular. You can adjust the lengths required during installation. There are accessories available to create bends, returns and terminal ends.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Modular
3/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Modular
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Modular
1/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Modular
4/5

Removability

Can I re-use and relocate an existing barrier if I decide to re-organise my premises.
What fixings / installation has been used. Will my floor be ok if I relocate a barrier?

Choose a removable barrier that lends itself to future relocation, over a static solid option.

Removing or relocating a barrier can be tough. What installation type, what anchor type? Do you have power tools? Will the floor break, can I repair it?

In the pharmaceutical industry, warehouse space is often downsized to make room for new laboratory space. Laboratory space is more profitable.

Steel guardrail protection, assets, buildings, vehicles, heavy duty anti rust, perfect for external use
Removability
2/5
Steel perimeter barrier for warehouse, this has removable beams for access. Ideal for protecting critical buidling controls, lodaing bay switches, downpipes
Removability
3/5
Yellow hoop barrier, powder coated safety barrier. Modular cheap solution
Removability
4/5
Yellow flexible safety barrier, ideal for forklift protection. Certified impact tested
Removability
5/5

5. Conclusion & Price Range

In conclusion, check out the barrier assessment cheat sheet below, this will give you an understanding of when to use what barrier type where.

Remember, safety is paramount in every business, and barriers are just the tip of the iceberg but why not start here.

Author notes: Regardless of which barrier you choose, the ultimate performance is determined by the adequacy of the surrounding ground.

If you are implementing a full warehouse safety policy, you should always perform a Risk Assessment and consult a professional safety expert.
This content is provided for informational and guidance purposes only.

Barrier Assessment Cheat Sheet

Armco barrier end cap protecting pedestrians from sharp edges in a warehouse. End cap supplier, for sale in Ireland.

Heavy Duty Crash Barrier

Material: Plain galvanised steel 3mm

Price Range: Budget – Mid

Application: Car parks, service yards, perimeter protection, rack ends

Warehouse protection barrier/yellow steel guard in a warehouse, walkway perimeters, machine guard, delineate workers, safety zone

Yellow Hoop Barrier

Material: Mild steel, powder coated

Price Range: Budget – Mid

Application: Delineation, light-duty impacts

Steel warehouse barrier for protecting switchboards and electrical controls in ireland

Galvanised Steel Access Barrier

Material: Galvanised & powder coated

Price Range: Budget-Mid

Application: Mechanical & electrical control protection (e.g loading bay switches, downpipes, etc)

Warehouse protection barrier_ireland being tested by forklift impact

Polymer Flexible Barrier

Material: Polymer with iron core and rubber damper floor protection technology

Price Range: High-end Certified

Application: Suited to almost every aspect of your premises that requires heavy-duty protection and the utmost safety

Need exact prices or barrier advice?

Picture of staff bollard suppliers in Dublin warehouse
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Wall, Corner, Door & Handrail Protection Guide 2021

What Causes Wall Damage & Maintenance?

Everyday damage to hospital interiors and corridor walls is typical, we would class these impact types as medium-duty:  pedestrians, wheelchairs, beds, chairs, trolleys, luggage and mobile equipment.

The constant maintenance, repair and refurbishment of paintwork, plasterwork, woodwork and damaged doors aren’t just frustrating and expensive, it can also lead to an accident or fall, dirt and bacteria.

Wall Collisions and Impacts Types Explained

Direct:
• Points of impact easily identifiable
• Damage is obvious and occurs in predictable patterns
• Commonly specified in existing buildings
• Suitable solution for refurbishment projects where the damaged areas are known

Indirect:
• Damage is difficult to predict
• Types and levels of traffic are unknown
• Commonly specified in new buildings
• Suitable for new builds where damage is trickier to predict

Wall Damage & Repairs

Why repair damaged healthcare walls?

A wall surface that is not smooth is not cleanable and is also an infection and bacteria concern. Damaged materials must be repaired or replaced to provide a cleanable hygienic surface.

 

Nursing Home Wall protection Article

How much does it cost to repair a damaged wall?

The price to hire a handyman or wall repair contractor for standard wall damage repair:

  • Materials €20 – 50
  • Approx 4 hours/€45 per hour = €180
  • Total Cost = €230

Types of Impact Protection and Damage Prevention

Hospital impact protection is designed to deflect impact and warn of extruding corners, edges, and vulnerable walls. They are used in many different hospital and healthcare receptions and corridors to help prevent injury, dirt leading to infection, protect walls and help prevent wear & tear.

Door Protection

‘Fully Clad’ with SureProtect Endure® thermoformed / post formed edges applied to new doors by the door manufacturer. The provision of intumescent fire and smoke seals provided by the door manufacturer. Usually formed and bonded by one of a door specialist

Custom PVC door protection and kick plates are 2mm thick and manufactured from impact-resistant PVC-u which is through-coloured and textured to conceal the effects of impact and abrasion. It is easy to clean and provides a cost-effective way to reduce maintenance costs and maintain the appearance of a building. Available in 35 standard colours. SureProtect Endure can be used in sheet form for total wall coverage or can be cut into rub rails or kick plates, or into bespoke designs.

It can also be thermoformed to produce bespoke profiles such as corner guards, column guards or door edge and door frame protectors.

Steel door handle push plates, perfect for schools, pharmaceutical and healthcare to retail, commercial office, leisure and hospitality.

Specification

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions: length: 350mm x width: 75mm
  • Thickness:1.5mm

Steel door kick plates, perfect for schools, pharmaceutical and healthcare to retail, commercial office, leisure and hospitality.

Specification

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Thickness:1.5mm

Handrails & Bumper Rails

What Are Bumper Rails?

Bumper rails or crash rails play a vital role in protecting walls as they dissipate impact energy along the length of the rail, without compromising the wall fixings.

Visibility

Handrails need to be easily identified and located for support and wayfinding and should be selected in a colour that has a Light Reflectance Value (LRV) that contrasts 30 points different from the surrounding surface

Guidance

Meet the guidance for distance from the wall and bracket clearance. British Standard Health Building Notes 00-04 and 00-10 (Department of Health Estates & Facilities)

Anti-bacterial

Reveals should be assembled tight, have neat joints and contain an anti-microbial agent to inhibit the growth of bacteria

Certified

Dementia Design Accredited Product. Products are designed to help meet specification guidelines including British Standard Building Regulations 2010 -Approved Document M and Approved Document K; BS 8300-2:2018, HBN 00-09 and HBN 00-03

Crash Rail

Ideally, pick a handrail & bumper rail combo that offers both direct and indirect protection against impacts from chairs, and wheeled/pedestrian traffic

Grip

Meet guidance for dimensions in relation to grip diameter, and choose a material that isn't cold to grip

Wall Guards & Strips

What is a wall guard?

A wall guard is a wall protection product designed to protect the length of a wall, such as a hallway or a corridor, from damage. … These items are commonly referred to as bumper guards, wall guards, crash rails, or chair rails depending on the manufacturer

Guards (Green)

  • A modular system comprising PVC-u covers, aluminium retainers and PVC-u accessories
  • Reveals provide tight, neat joints and contain an anti-microbial agent to inhibit the growth of bacteria
  • Replaceable, through-coloured, easy-to-clean covers
  • Continuous retainer provides rigid support whilst allowing the cover to flex, absorbing the effects of an impact

Strips (Orange)

  • Can be used along the entire length of a wall or cut down into kickplates or push plates
  • Scratch and stain resistant PVC-u is through-coloured and textured to conceal the effects of impact and abrasion
  • Available with tape for quick and easy installation, or without tape for installing with a suitable adhesive
  • Light-duty

Hygienic Cladding & PVC Wall Protection Panels

Specifically developed for areas where cleanliness and hygiene is a priority, SureProtect Pure® creates an impermeable barrier to moisture and bacteria. The smooth, easy to clean surface is an excellent hygienic alternative to ceramic tiles, removing the need for grout which can harbour bacteria. SureProtect Pure® is manufactured from PVC-u material that has been extensively tested to ensure suitability in hygienic environments. The product adheres to guidance set out in The Health Building Note 00-09 and the Food Standards Agency, making it the perfect solution for healthcare environments and commercial kitchens. It is also ideal for sport and leisure facilities, food manufacturing environments, pharmaceutical laboratories, dentist practices, veterinary surgeries and bathrooms.

SureProtect Endure® PVC-u sheet is through coloured and textured to conceal the effects of impact and abrasion. It can be specified as a stand-alone product or be combined with other Gradus wall protection products to create a comprehensive protection system. Specifying SureProtect Endure® helps to reduce the need to repair and re-paint wall surfaces and with minimal maintenance, optimises the appearance retention of the building interior. It is commonly specified in environments exposed to high levels of pedestrian traffic such as corridors and circulation areas, canteens, classrooms and waiting areas.

PVC rub rails can be used to provide a cost-effective solution to protect entire wall lengths or surfaces exposed to impact and abrasion. They can also be used to protect walls behind items such as tables and chairs, to prevent damage occurring from furniture movement. 

Modern and stylish in appearance, SureProtect Design® highlights building interiors whilst still offering excellent surface protection. Finishes include wood effects, metals and bespoke prints to accommodate any interior design theme. Ideal for applications where aesthetics is important such as reception areas, leisure facilities, hotel lobbies, retirement homes and university campuses.

Corner & Bed Head Protection

Bed head protector bumper guards for hospitals and nursing homes, prevent wall and machinery damage

Why not check out our hospital protection range: wall strips, handrails, door protection, hygienic cladding, stainless steel protectors and

Hospital protection video case study, courtesy of Gradus Limited

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How To Clean Your Social Distancing Screens

Social distancing screens for separation in Ireland, this is separating desks in a office space

How to clean your social distancing screens – do’s & don’ts

  1. Lint-free cloth, tepid water with a light soap
  2. Do not wipe in circular motions- wipe in one direction using parallel, overlapping strokes
  3. Apply soft pressure to avoid scratching or blemishes
  4. Do not use sharp or hard objects to remove stubborn dirt or stains – avoid using fingernails to
  5. Air drying is the best practice to achieve a pristine finish and avoid scratching and scrapes

HSE COVID Information Booklet

About SVL
Read More

Products in our Social Distancing Protection Solutions: sneeze guards, free standing screens, PPE, face masks, hygienic dispensers, retractable barrier belts, separation barriers, and rails.

Checkout screens for social distancing protection from COVID in Ireland, keep customers and staff safe

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Improving Material Handling Safety

warehouse asset protection

Forklifts, pallet jacks and other mobile equipment make material handling easier and more efficient for employees of factories, warehouses and distribution centres. But when not utilised properly, this heavy machinery can also put the safety of material handling in jeopardy.

Below are 10 ways safety can be improved through the proper use of material handling equipment, as recommended by our partners in McCue.

Improving Material Handling Safety

  1. Allow only trained, certified and qualified employees to operate forklifts and other heavy machinery.
  2. Perform daily inspections and audits on all material handling equipment.
  3. Keep paths and aisles clean and free of any loose debris that could get in the way of machinery.
  4. Operators and supervisors should know and adhere to the size and weight restrictions for each piece of equipment and never attempt to lift or transport more than the recommended capacity.
  5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times during equipment operation, and seat belts should always be used.
  6. Employees who do not operate machinery but work near it should also be properly trained in safe practices for doing so.
  7. When finished with use, equipment should be lowered to ground level, turned off with keys removed and stored out of the way.
  8. Materials should be inspected before loading to ensure the pallet is intact, any lids or protective wrapping are properly sealed, and the stack is stable.
  9. Have an emergency plan in place and make sure all employees know how to execute it.
  10. Perform preventive maintenance on all equipment on a regular basis to ensure it is always in good working order.

 

Implementing Safety Measures

One of the easiest ways to improve material handling safety in any facility is to install bollards, protectors, guards and other items wherever heavy machinery is used.

Alongside McCue, SVL specialize in damage prevention and impact protection. So contact us today, and get your premises up to date with the latest designs and products.

  • Bollards
  • Crash and pedestrian barriers
  • Rack guards and end protectors
  • Column guards
  • Door protectors & Goal Posts
  • Flex posts

These products can greatly improve safety by minimizing impact and absorbing shock when collisions happen.

 

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Could a Fresh Shopfit Increase Your Profits?

shop fit

Having a complete store fitting done and replacing your shop equipment can be an expensive venture.  But if done correctly, it can pay off with increased sales.  To learn if a new shopfit could help your retail venture, you need to consider a few things.  Before you make a decision about whether to do a whole store fitting or just replace some shop equipment, consider these points.

  • What is your return per square metre? How does it compare with your industry and local norms?  If you think your store needs freshening up but your return per square metre is above average for your niche and geographic location, it might make sense to simply replace any worn out retail display units or retail shelving.
  • Are you striving to improve customer flow through the space?  Look for any dead space, areas that are not well used and perhaps need to be redesigned.  Consider how items are grouped and arranged.  Does it make sense?  The goal is to entice shoppers from one section to the next without frustrating them.
  • A shopfit is about more than just retail display units and shop equipment.  Think about lighting.  Will you need to change the lighting when you do a store fitting?  Or would just changing the lighting be enough?
  • When you are preparing your budget for a shopfit, remember that if you move your retail shelving, it might expose a contrast between worn areas of the floor and places that have been protected by your shop equipment.  Will you need to replace the flooring?

When you are considering a having a new store fitting, you have to think carefully about the cost.  Consult with experienced professionals to get a good idea of all of the costs involved, and set a target for how of an increase you would need to see in your return per square metre.  A fresh shopfit could make better use of your space, allowing you to fit in more merchandise and arrange it in a more appealing way.  You could develop better storage strategies to create more retail floor space.  And you can use eye-catching new retail display units to increase impulse spending.  A new store fitting is a significant investment, but it can be one that is well worth making.

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Getting Public Restrooms Right for Everyone

transgender toilets

Across the pond in the USA, public restrooms are getting a lot of attention. Debate is raging about gender neutral public toilets and who should use what facilities.  If you are revamping your restrooms, there’s another issue that should be on your radar.  There is a very large segment of society that most businesses want to keep happy, and appropriate restrooms do impress them.  Having gender neutral parent and baby toilets with baby changing units will make a lot of parents happy when they are visiting your business.

Providing toilets at your establishment is just part of the big picture of giving your customers convenience and comfort to enhance their experience with your business.  Parents with babies value restaurants, cafes and shops with baby changing units.  Wall mounted baby changing units do not take up much space, so you would install them in both the gents’ and ladies’ facilities.  But often parents with a baby have other small children too.  Having a gender-neutral family restroom offers parents more than just baby changing units.  It is a safe place for any parent to bring the children, no matter who needs to use the facilities or have a nappy changed.

More Than Baby Changing Units

Parents do not like to send older children into the bathrooms alone – but if one parent is out with a child of the other sex, they sometimes have little choice.  At a certain point, children resist going to the restroom of the other gender.  And that point usually comes before parents feel really comfortable sending a child to the restroom alone, especially if it one with many stalls.  Having a family restroom with a baby changer is a great solution.

Another way to make parents happy with your restrooms aside from adding wall mounted baby changing units is to make sure your restrooms are child-friendly in other ways too.  A baby safe seat means that a parent out without a stroller (or with a stroller too large to fit into the bathroom) has a way to keep baby safe while using the facilities or helping another child.  Door finger protectors keep little fingers safe.  And parents will appreciate it too if there is a latch or bolt on the door higher than small children can reach!  Having a mischievous child open the door at the wrong moment is a real fear.  Baby changers, baby safe seats and door finger protectors are a few simple ways to create family-friendly, gender neutral toilets to make everyone more comfortable patronizing your business.  Of course, the single most important thing to do with your restroom facilities is to keep them clean!  But after that, making them safe and comfortable for everyone makes your business a more desirable place to be.

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Why Supermarket Checkouts Matter

Checkout Units in Supermarket

It’s the end of the line.  Their visit to your store is nearly over.  Does it matter what the checkout units are like?  It does.  For two key reasons, it matters very much what your customers’ checkout experience is like.  First, it’s the one place they are sure to stand still for a moment and interact with your staff (or an automated system).  Second, it is your last chance to sell before they leave.

Supermarket checkouts are not many people’s idea of a good time.  People don’t like standing in queues.  They know they are going to see an appealing display of impulse items.  Parents shopping with children particularly dread this part of shopping.  But if you take your checkout units seriously, you can turn that negativity around.

What Do Shoppers Want at Checkout Units?

Mostly, people want to get through the supermarket checkouts quickly.  They want an obvious and tidy place to leave plastic or wire baskets.  Belted checkouts should work smoothly, and dividers should be easily available.  The space should be wide enough for shopping trolleys to fit through with plenty of room to spare.  Retail displays of impulse items are too profitable to abandon, but parents will appreciate those items not being sweets.  So will everyone else in the queue!  People will actually appreciate finding magazine shelves near the supermarket checkouts so they have something entertaining while they are waiting.

What people do not want is also important.  First and foremost, they do not want a long, slow-moving queue.  The single most important thing you can do to improve your checkout units is to have enough of them open.  If you have belted checkouts, they must be in good working order.  People tend to abandon their shopping baskets, so staff need to keep an eye on things so customers are not annoyed by wire baskets in their way.

The checkout units are not anyone’s favourite part of shopping.  Amazon is preparing to open a bricks and mortar grocery store in Seattle, Washington without checkout units.  But it remains to be seen if people have enough trust in the technology that tracks and charges their items via their smartphone for that to succeed.  In the meantime, for most supermarkets checkouts matter.

 

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Making Your Car Park Bike-Friendly

bike friendly car park

These days, we are more concerned with doing our part for the environment than ever before. We’re also looking to offset the amount of time we spend at desks and on couches. Those two trends combine to give people a strong incentive to choose their bicycle over their car whenever it is practical to do so. Not convinced? Look at the rise of rental bike schemes in urban areas around the world including Dublin. Retailers and restaurants need to be aware of this and anticipate customers arriving by bicycle.

Car parks need to be safe for all users – those arriving in cars, by bike and on foot. But bike users are too often overlooked when we design car parks. You can, however, take some simple steps to make your car park a safer and more welcoming place for patrons arriving to your premises by bicycle.

3 Steps to a Bike-Friendly Car Park

It isn’t that hard to make your car park bike-friendly. With a few simple steps and a small investment in traffic calming equipment and bike racks, you can welcome customers arriving by bicycle and make your car park a safer place for everyone.

  • Traffic Calming: All car parks should have traffic calming equipment such as speed bumps and traffic barriers. Some customers will be coming and going in a hurry, but businesses can slow them down with the right equipment.
  • Clear Bike Routes: Your car park should have clear routes for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. A bike lane separator with some bollards can create a safe path for bicyclists to cross your car park to your bike shelters.
  • Bike Shelters: In Ireland’s wet climate, bike racks are not enough. To really welcome cyclists, you need proper bike shelters covering the bike racks. No one wants to come out and get on a wet bike seat. When you provide bike shelters, you also make it very obvious where people should park their bikes so you won’t find them chained to traffic barriers or other inappropriate places.

It doesn’t take a huge investment to make your car park a safe and welcoming place for cyclists. With a bike lane separator, bike shelters and bike racks and good traffic calming equipment, you can show your customers on bikes that they are valued.