TOP 5 column GUARD APPLICATIONS
Commonly applied column or column guards ensure protection of structures against any damage. Most commonly encountered issues include chipping, deformation or structure collapse, which results from lack of correct marking. What do we mean by correct marking or correct protection? See below for 5 reasons why column guards are worth installing.
IMPROVEMENT IN STRENGTH PROPERTIES
Plastic guards are not only characterised by high mechanical strength, but also resistance to weather conditions. Some guards can operate in temperatures down to -40 C, and are resistant to corrosion. Another benefit and advantage over near-obsolete metal guards is their exceptional ability to absorb impact. Hitting a metal guard results in its deformation and necessity to replace it with a new one to maintain its protective properties. Plastic guards are less fragile and more flexible, which makes them resistant to high loads without permanent deformation. Moreover, lots of our guards are of a modular design, so, they require replacing only elements that are deformed or damaged. This solution saves time and money necessary to replace a guard.
PROTECTING VEHICLES AGAINST DAMAGE
Column guards protect not only structures, but vehicles as well. In production halls and warehouses, equipment and products are most often handled by forklift trucks or other customised vehicles. These are expensive vehicles with long depreciation periods, which makes purchasing them a long-term investment, and their technical condition is very important. The last thing we want is to crash into a column and damage the vehicle. Even slight impact, at low speeds, may have disastrous results. Vehicle body damage does not seem like a big problem, but it generates additional costs. However, drivers or operators can get seriously injured, even when the collision seems minor.
Avoiding impacts would enable us to avoid many problems related to column and column damage. The main reason for such collisions is driver's inattention or lack of focus. Losing concentration for a split of a second is enough for them to collide with an element. Such factors as column colours blurring with the background and limited manoeuvring space do not help, either. That is why our guards come with the warning yellow colour. Strong, reflective colours ensure that operators, even while not paying attention or working in difficult conditions, always notice obstacles. Moreover, the modular design of our guards enables us to tailor them to particular needs, i.e. the higher the guard the more visible it is to drivers.
As we mentioned above, our product properties result from high-quality materials. They also increase drivers’ safety, mitigate the vehicle damage risk and increase the visibility of protected elements. However, the main reason for installing column and column guards is protection of the structure itself. Structural elements are most commonly damaged as a result of mechanical impact (caused by forklift trucks or pallets). Such collisions are dangerous, as they compromise the entire building structure. Guards selected according to applicable standards will surely increase the level of occupational safety in a plant. The guards protect concrete and steel columns and columns, thus guaranteeing safety. If a collision is serious enough to destroy a guard, it is much easier, faster and less expensive to replace a damaged guard than to repair a column being a component of a larger structure.
FORKLIFT TRUCK IMPACT PROTECTION
We have already covered the most common reasons for using the guards, but probably the most frequent issue occurring in production halls or warehouses that used to be a real problem are forklift truck collisions with columns. They happen so often that they have become a common problem. Operators (particularly inexperienced ones) find it hard to estimate how far the forks protrude from a vehicle and cannot prevent impact. Why is this type of collision so hazardous? It is because we deal here with spot impact, i.e. a forklift truck forcibly collides with a little spot of a structure. It mostly results in slight chipping or denting a column, however, this is the visible damage only. The damage that is difficult to notice results in internal imbalance of a structure, which, in time, may even result in its collapse, as the damage is usually inflicted in the same spot. We focus here on such incidents not only because they are common, but also because the damage seems negligible and impacts only the element appearance, which is an entirely false assumption.