Ideal Applications for Traffic Bollards: Warehouses and Industrial

Posted by slowstop | 06 June 2017

Reposted from

This post is the last of a five part article dealing with types of bollards and their ideal uses. This post will discuss bollard use in industrial manufacturing plants as well as warehouses.

Pedestrian Protection

No matter the work setting, anywhere that moving vehicles have the potential to injure workers and guests alike, adequate protection is required. Simple safety training of fork lift operators, delivery truck drivers, and plant personnel is often not enough to ensure pedestrian safety. Accidents with heavy vehicles are often catastrophic and require additional safeguarding to protect people from injury. A line of bollard or bollard fencing in high traffic area is key. It is also especially important to protect operators and workers in areas where they may not be able to see oncoming traffic, such as when performing work related tasks. Break areas are another important area to consider as workers are often inattentive while on break.

Many businesses choose to use surface mounted steel plate bollards in these applications, as the speeds of vehicles is often low and this is adequate to stop incidental contact with forbidden areas. Cored or embedded bollards can leave a factory owner with a Swiss cheese plant floor, especially given the flexibility required of the modern factory. But because welded plate surface mounted bollards can quickly come loose and fall into disrepair, rebounding type bollards are recommended for their ability to absorb impact and avoid damage and lost truck loads. These can also be used to assist in proper positioning, as it is acceptable to use them as a positive stop without a jarring impact of a traditional bollard.

Loading Docks and Doors

It’s no secret that warehouse loading dock areas take a beating. Delivery trucks are very large and very heavy, and maneuvering them can be difficult even for the most experienced driver. In order to protect building walls, loading ramps, and high bay doors, savvy warehouse managers install strong bollards to protect their facilities from damage due to repeated low speed impacts from heavy vehicles.

Related to this is the interior plant doorway made for vehicle traffic. An inattentive driver can strike the interior walls causing a potentially dangerous situation, especially for a cinder block wall. Bollards strategically placed in the doorway just inside the wall opening can prevent this sort of damage and save the plant from costly repairs.

Pallet Racks

One of the most common workplace fines issued by the Occupations Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is for damaged pallet racks. Pallet racks are subject to damage because of the large frequency of use by forklifts loading and unloading product. The slightest impact can damage structural uprights and compromise the load integrity of the rack systems. There are many devices on the market to protect pallet rack uprights such as cushions and guards, but the most effective is arguable a well-placed bollard. Corners are an especially important area to protect as forklift can clip the end of the rack cutting a turn. These tend to be lighter bollards in the 3” class as speeds tend to be low.

Equipment and Automation

Industrial equipment and automation can be quite expensive, not to mention critical to plant operations and business revenue. It is imperative that such equipment is protected from vehicle traffic to eliminate the possibility of completely avoidable downtime. Safety fencing is often used to protect personnel from entering dangerous equipment operations areas, but bollards or bollard fencing can serve a dual purpose of prohibiting access from both workers and vehicular traffic. It is not uncommon to see expensive automation equipment surrounded by a line of bollards with W-rail attached along plant aisle ways. At other times, simple bollard protection to keep vehicles away from delicate personnel safety fencing may be adequate.


In these days of hyper competitive business environments, the costs from unnecessary interruption to operations from vehicle accidents are intolerable. Further, the safety of employees is a major goal of most companies. When viewed from that perspective, the installation of protective bollards throughout industrial operations is imperative and has become commonplace. Business owners and operations managers should carefully consider areas of vehicle traffic, and especially areas that can be prone to damage or injury.

This post concludes our look at ideal bollard applications. Although not all inclusive of the many uses of traffic bollards, we have provided a comprehensive look, at the most common installations.

Video of Equipment Protection

Categories: Articles

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