Monday, October 07, 2013

Designing Fixed Barrier Perimeter Guarding

Fixed barrier perimeter guarding is one of the most common ways to safeguard a machine. They physically prevent access to the hazard and are fairly simple and inexpensive to install. Fixed barrier perimeter guards are most useful when limited access is required to the restricted area. They are very effective safeguards when designed and installed to meet CSA Z432-04 standards but can provide a false sense of security if they are not.

When you are installing fixed barriers take the time to ensure they meet all the design requirements, including:

  1. Be strong enough to withstand operational forces,
  2. Be free of sharp edges,
  3. Meet CSA reach requirements (a chart to determine how size of opening in barrier relates to the distance the barrier must be placed away from the hazard),
  4. Bottom of the barrier is no more than 6” above the ground,
  5. Top of the barrier is no lower than 72” above the ground, and
  6. Must require the use of tools to remove.

Some best practices that we have seen for fixed barrier perimeter systems are clear polycarbonate for the panels.  This is useful when you need to guard against a hazard but still would like the operator to see what’s going on.   If using mesh, the mesh can be painted flat black against the yellow of the posts.  This makes it easier to look through.  Any of these ideas though must still meet the requirement for being strong enough to withstand operational forces.

Our clients often ask us to design and install their fixed barrier perimeter guarding for them but some clients choose to do this on their own as they have their own machine shop with qualified maintenance personnel. If you choose to do this on your own, ensure it will meet the CSA requirements, and please contact us if you have any questions.

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 12:32 PM 0 Comments