The ultimate edge protection barrier solution for construction projects

HDG barriers fall protection at construction project

Oliver Gwinnell, MD at SafetyRespect UK discusses a significant evolution in the temporary edge protection barrier marketplace, the Hot Dipped Galvanised barrier, the first major development of the hugely popular ‘bent mesh’ type barriers since they were launched in the mid-1990s.

“We’ve had over 25 years of the same product,” says Oliver Gwinnell, “with no change.”

“Since the first systemised edge protection solution was launched in the UK in the mid-1990s, the design, materials and finish of ‘bent mesh’ barriers have changed little. The standard finish is powder coated black steel so it’s a case of not if, but when the paint is chipped off during handling and movement and exposing of the black steel, where corrosive rust will form.

“The erosion looks poor but most importantly the material will lose strength integrity. It is an industry issue, with many firms grappling with the challenge, trying to create a solution for this gap in the market.”

Gwinnell continued, “As most companies are simply hire and sales agents, the investment in R&D with their third-party manufacturers has made it prohibitive. As SafetyRespect manufactures its own products at its factories in Germany and Turkey it was able to invest the time and money to create a solution that would differentiate it in the market. Many companies had tried the hot dipped galvanised steel treatment on the bent mesh  design before, but the toe board was too thin to withstand the procedure. After many years of requests for hot dip galvanised steel barriers, SafetyRespect dipped its toe in the challenge and was able to spend several months developing a solution, the first fundamental material change in bent mesh temporary edge protection barriers in a generation.”

HDG barriers fall protection for construction projects

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Giwinnell said, “In short, the hot dipped galvanised barriers will last significantly longer than the standard products because the fundamental issue of paint chipping has disappeared. Also, the materials will remain intact with no loss of integrity, making the product safer. No rust – which makes the side of buildings unsightly and affects the main or sub-contractors on-site branding – will appear. The inevitable movement of the barriers either on-site or between sites will not lead to costly refurbishments or replacements, saving time and money.

“One of the big beneficiaries will be fleet operators, as their products will last longer because they are less susceptible to corrosion. They can be rest  assured that their hire fleet  will have an increased life span and thus the opportunity for  more profit.”

“Barrier corrosion has been a fundamental issue during the 20 years I have been in the temporary edge protection industry. I have worked for other suppliers and this had always been an issue for customers.

“There are other hot dip galvanised barriers on the market but they tend to be ‘framed mesh’ design barriers and are much heavier. A big part of the popularity and success of the ‘bent’ mesh design is that it is robust yet lightweight; it was important  that the barrier remained a one man lift within the manual handling regulations.”

“I’m delighted that SafetyRespect can develop and bring products, such as this barrier, to market. Our point of difference is having our own factories. – we can invest in R&D but also control the manufacturing process and therefore the delivery timeframes.”

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Published May 10, 2024.