When you hear the word barricade, it’s natural to think of road construction sites. These structures separate traffic from construction areas, mark holes in the ground or dangerous equipment, and encircle electrical hazards.
However, these are only some of the uses of this type of safety equipment. Barricades are also used in events and as a visual way to warn people of hazards or dead ends.
Preventing Access to Hazardous Areas
Barricades are safety requirements in potentially hazardous work environments like stocking and warehouse work, construction work, and janitorial work. While warnings are important, nothing is as effective as making it physically impossible to enter a dangerous area.
Traffic barricades are the most common types of barricades we see on roads, typically with white and orange stripes. These barricades have legs that either fold or slide to allow quick assembly and disassembly. They can also be used with a barricade light system for visibility in low-light situations.
Another type of barricade has sloped lines (like zebra striping) on the sides. Barricade Washington makes it easy for drivers to read and understand where to go when passing through the barricade. They can also be used with abatement tapes to block off contaminated areas after a cleanup or containment operation. Barricades can also be placed around equipment and hazards in elevators to protect personnel.
Preventing Access to High-Risk Work Areas
Barricades are a crucial piece of safety equipment on construction sites, especially when there’s hazardous work to be done. Electrical safety regulations put forth by OSHA and the NFPA require that energized equipment be de-energized before someone can go near it, so barricading is necessary to prevent unqualified people from entering the vicinity.
Barricade feet are bridges designed for stability, and they come in various colors to match specific use cases. For example, some traffic barricades may be powder coated in traffic safety colors, while others might be painted to accommodate school and event coloring schemes while maintaining brand consistency.
Other times, barricades may block off areas where much work is being done, such as around an electrical transformer or other large machinery. While signage can warn of a danger, nothing blocks access like physical barriers. This is why the essential aspect of barricade maintenance is ensuring they are inspected daily to ensure they are in good shape and still serve their purpose of preventing unsafe entries.
Preventing Access to Unprotected Edges
While we associate barricades with traffic and construction work, they are also used in industries like chemical abatement and contamination prevention. Barricades mark the perimeter of an area to prevent workers from stepping into a hazard zone or unprotected edge.
For example, a worker could fall into an excavation or uncovered sewer pipe. Safety barricades can physically isolate the area and keep employees safe.
While construction site accidents account for only 6% of all workplace deaths, the industry is notorious for dangerous conditions and high rates of injuries. Barricade tape warns of hazardous areas and can highlight equipment or areas with an electrocution risk. These can be marked with steady or flashing warning lights. The most common type of barricade is a simple steel structure designed for crowd control. These are typically powder coated in traffic safety colors or galvanized with zinc for rust resistance. They feature fixed or detachable feet on uneven terrain or flat surfaces. They can be joined together and anchored to the ground with hooks and receivers.
Preventing Access to Unprotected Areas
When most people hear the word barricade, they think of a line of orange and white barriers on a construction site or lining a freeway. The reality is that barricades are used for much more than separating a work area from traffic. They are also commonly used to block access to certain areas that could present hazards or prevent people from going where they shouldn’t.
In electrical safety, a barricade is a physical obstruction that hinders entry or passage to an area of energized equipment. This is consistent with OSHA’s definition of a barrier, and both are frequently safety requirements for stocking or warehouse work, construction job sites, and even janitorial work, all jobs which can pose significant risks for injury.