Fabricated Barrier: Is There A Better Solution?

Fabricating barrier is the process of creating, bending, welding and assembling pre-designed and sometimes bespoke sections of barrier ready to be taken to site and installed by welding.

It is a relatively expensive, time-consuming and inflexible process.

The process is design intensive and may require several drafts design work to get the procession needed.

If a section of barrier has been fabricated incorrectly and discovered once on site, there’s not much that can be done other than to fabricate a new section and return to site at a later date.

Once fabricated barrier has been installed and welded, it’s a difficult process to change if problems arise. For example:

The photograph above shows two sections of fabricated barrier that have been welded. The process of welding has affected the protective coating and has opened up the steel tubing to weather conditions, triggering the rusting process.

Not only does this look bad but it also affects the strength of the barrier creating a safety risk.

A Skilled Workforce

Another problem with fabricated barrier is the labour consideration.

The process of installing fabricated barrier requires specialist welding tools and highly trained fitters. It also presents a number of health and safety issues and will most likely require permits for hot work.

A Better Solution To Fabricating Barrier

The solution is Kee Klamp fittings.

Harcon Services provide Kee Klamp hot dip galvanised iron and Kee Lite aluminium fittings. These are slip-on components and lengths of tube that ensure complete hazard protection without the issues that fabricated guardrails and handrails create.

Kee fittings are hugely flexible, only requiring a general arrangement drawing and removing the need for a highly skilled labourer and work permits, as anyone can fit the railing thanks to the use of simple hexagonal set screws locking the fitting to the tube.

There is also no cutting required, so the tube maintains its integrity, another benefit over fabricated systems.

In a modern marine climate, such as a town like Newcastle-Upon-Thames, the average lifetime of typical hot-dip galvanised fittings is calculated to be around 37 years.

Take a look at the difference between fabricated barrier and fittings:

On the second picture, if any rust or climate damage started to occur, the section of tubing affect could be unscrewed and replaced without any major issues.

The benefits of Kee Fittings

Kee Klamp® and Kee Lite® fittings offer a strong and durable solution to separating people from hazards, are more resilient to corrosion and can last up to seven times longer than fabricated barriers and handrails. They also eliminate the need for welding, cutting, threading or bolting and remove the need for skilled labour and permits for work.

With Kee fittings you can save time and money thanks to the quick and easy installation, as well as feel assured that your guardrail will do the job thanks to a wide range of components for every situation.

Fittings are superior for the following reasons:

  • Provide a strong and durable solution
  • Are more resilient to corrosion
  • Can last up to 7 times longer than fabricated barriers and handrails
  • Eliminate the need for welding, cutting, threading or bolting
  • Overcome the need for skilled labour or permits to work
  • Save time and money as installation is quick and easy
  • Are flexible so barriers and handrails can be designed to meet a variety of on-site requirements
  • Allow quick replacement of damaged sections when required

Addressing The Equality Act With DDA Handrails

National statistics show that there are over 11 million adults with a long-term illness. They form a significant percentage of UK consumers so making retail premises and public buildings accessible is critical for business as well as a legal requirement.

Reading the Equality Act 2010 (DDA) shows that businesses and public services must take reasonable steps to remove any physical barriers that make access difficult for the less abled.

What qualifies as reasonable?

The DDA doesn’t actually define what is reasonable and it is all down to the individual businesses to judge what is actually reasonable. Retailers should find out how effective, how practical and the cost of it as well. Ultimately though, only a court can decide what is, and what is not reasonable and companies who have a lot of financial resources are expected to do a lot more when compared to those who don’t have a lot of money.

Planning Tips

An access audit evaluates the accessibility of your building and it follows the less able visitor’s path of travel. It also covers their arrival and their entry into the premises. When you do conduct an access audit, businesses can then work to identify what they need to try and change in order to make it accessible. Large premises may have a lot of issues that they need to resolve and they need to split these into short, medium and long term sections with priorities.

General Access Considerations

Access to and from premises is an important consideration. The following points should be central to planning:

  • Access solutions should respect the convenience of those who are less abled.
  • Use of space – such as when adjusting an existing space, ramp or stairwell
  • Building regulations should comply with physical adjustments.

One solution is DDA Compliant Handrails. They provide a cost-effective and practical means to make a premises accessible.

What is a DDA Compliant Handrail?

Handrails provide a safe means of access for all. This is especially true for those who find it hard to climb or descend steps. If you have a wide flight of stairs then you will need to have handrails that divide this up into channels. If you have steps that are over 1800mm then it is highly recommended that you use them to divide the flight of stairs into channels that are 1000mm or less. If you have two or more risers then you need to provide a continuous handrail on either side.

DDA handrails should:

  • have a smooth surface and not cold to touch
  • be an ergonomic shape that is easy to group such as circular or oval. The diameter of the handrail should be no more than 50mm for an oval design and between 40 to 45mm for a circular design
  • be easy to see by the use of visually contrasting colours but should not be reflective
  • have a smooth finish to prevent clothing from being caught

DDA Access is Kee

Building Regulations and the Equality Act make it very clear that a significant percentage of the population require access to public and commercial buildings. It shouldn’t be a second thought for companies to design access this way.

Our Guide to DDA Compliant Handrails provides an in-depth look at the considerations that need to be taken when it comes to accessible handrail systems. It’s free to download here.

How to Protect Your Business Structure from Lightning

If you live or work in an area where a lot of storms happen, enough so that lightning strikes are something to worry about, you may want to look into a few different ways to protect your business structure or your house from a lightning strike.

The problem with lightning is that it can come very quickly, and you never really know where it is going to hit.

Having something in place to keep anything from happening will ensure that your structure stays standing for years to come.

One of the most common implementations that you can make to protect your building is to get a lightning protection system, better known as a lightning rod.

These are usually set up near the building in order to attract the lightning strike and then neutralize it before it travels back into the ground.

By having it travel into the ground, essentially it will dissipate and not be of any danger to the building or surrounding trees at all.

You can get an older style lightning rod put in place, or something that is a bit more modern instead.

The more modern models are basically made up of a series of small copper and aluminium spikes which are now called air terminals.

These air terminals are mounted on the highest points of a house or a business building, usually at the top of the roof, a chimney if it exists, and other high points on dormers.

One building can have as many as ten or more, depending on its size and the shape of it.

Not to mention, if there are many high points, you can fit many on the roof.

By setting up a lightning protection system at your building you can save yourself from a lot of damage later on.

When lightning strikes a building or a tree, sometimes a fire can easily break out due to the sparks created.

If you have something to protect the building in place, you can actually send the current into the ground safely, and out of the way of everything that could possibly catch fire.

It will end up saving you a lot of time and money down the line.

Many places of business should actually have some sort of protection system in place, that way they can continuously protect their structures in the case of a major storm breaking out.

It is better to be well prepared than have something happen.