The need for safety barriers exploded with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All around the world, businesses were required to install safety measures to keep employees and visitors as safe as possible. While masks and social distancing were the most broadcasted ways to reduce the spread of the virus, every single business made use of safety barriers. Let’s find out some more about them.
How Do They Help Stop COVID-19 Spread?
While safety barriers are not the end all be all of stopping COVID-19 spread, they can help reduce transmission rates. Safety barriers are excellent at stopping large droplets from transferring from one individual to the other in close proximity. While they cannot stop everything, they can cut down the risk substantially. Especially when people are forced to be in close quarters indoors and physical distancing is not possible, the barrier can maintain the ability to interact with other people without the associated risks of contracting the virus.
Another less-thought of benefit of safety barriers during the pandemic is the effect it has on individuals who see them in common locations. Seeing the extent to which businesses are going to in order to protect their employees and their customers may be a wake up call for those individuals that aren’t taking the pandemic very seriously. They can also be a good reminder to practice social distancing and to keep masks in place in all common, indoor areas. While there still isn’t sufficient researching indicating their effectiveness, the safety barriers are not being installed everywhere just for the sake of it.
Where and How Should They Be Installed?
Safety barriers should be installed everywhere there is close contact between individuals, lots of foot traffic, and an inability to social distance effectively. This included places like grocery store checkouts and other retail checkouts, ticket sales, reception tasks, public transportation drivers, office areas, pharmacies, and even production lines in manufacturing plants.
Safety barriers can be made of a number of different materials, and they each have their pros and cons. Different types of safety barriers have different installation requirements as well. There are some guidelines that apply to them all.
Safety barriers should first and foremost not block access to emergency exits. Whether they are installed in a vehicle or in a place of business, they should not impede movement at all. People should be able to move freely in an area and quickly reach an exit if it is required of them. Safety barriers should also be installed in a manner that prevents them from tipping over and falling, either onto an individual or on the floor, creating a hazard. Further on this subject is the accessibility of the area. Safety barriers should not impede the accessibility of a location, not inhibit a person’s ability to get around on crutches, in a wheelchair, or any other accessibility concern.
Barriers in vehicles do have some extra considerations on top of a person’s ability to exit the vehicle quickly. They must not hinder the visibility or movement of the driver, and they must not block and controls or access to information such as speed and gas level. It should be obvious why these rules are in place, for the safety of the driver and all those around them on the road.
Safety barriers must also comply with the rules and regulations of the building and municipality. Construction permits may be required to install safety barriers in some areas, and they always need to comply with building codes. Additionally, safety barriers must never inhibit the ventilation of a space or affect the fire protection systems. If all of these installation requirements are met, then you are left with a helpful, longstanding safety barrier to keep employees and the public safe.
Why Choose Glass Safety Barriers Over Plastic?
Glass barriers holds many benefits over other materials, even those made of various plastic materials. There are many important components of a safety barrier, and glass can offer the best in almost all of them. Many other materials can do a decent job in at least a handful of the following categories, but it is rare to find a material that can excel in each of them. Some materials shouldn’t be used as barriers at all since they are largely ineffective and unsafe. As a result, it is important to consult guidelines before installing barriers. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Glass barriers are of course transparent, and that is an important consideration to make since safety barriers are almost exclusively utilized in public service sectors. Since employees will need to be able to interact with every customer that comes through the door, it is essential that visibility is maintained and communication is not inhibited.
Impermeability is another huge benefit of glass barriers over other materials. Glass is one of the most solid materials out there, and this means that there is no possible way for any virus-loaded droplets to make their way through the barrier. Since effectiveness is essential, glass is one of the best materials to choose.
Glass barriers will also be incredibly scratch resistance and durable. Since they are bound to experience wear and tear on a daily basis, choosing a material that can withstand a certain level of abuse is crucial for maintaining the safety of every individual working around the barrier. Glass barriers also easily meet the requirements for fire and building codes, since glass is a non-combustible material.
Finally, glass is a better material for safety barriers due to their ability to stay clean and be disinfected. While plastic can hold onto particles for an extensive period of time, glass does not have that capability. Since safety barriers, especially in populated areas, will receive a lot of foot traffic going by, they will be cleaned and disinfected many times a day. Glass cleans very easily and will not retain and invisible particulates on the surface, ensuring a thoroughly disinfected barrier every time.
If your business is in need of glass safety barriers or any other glass product, reach out to the professionals at Red Seal Glass, leading experts in all glass solutions.