This section provides an overview for guardrails as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 27 guardrail manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked guardrail companies as of December, 2023: 1.GSI Highway Products, 2.Steel King Industries, Inc., 3.Ideal Shield.
A guardrail (protective barrier) is a type of guard (poles, safety fence, etc.) used to prevent or mitigate damage from vehicle collisions in factories.
Many manufacturing sites are operated by forklifts, AGVs, and other vehicles. If these vehicles should come into contact with workers or production equipment, serious industrial accidents and downtime could occur.
In the past, manufacturing sites have focused on human-centered accident countermeasures, such as employee training and compliance with rules. Today, however, with the diversification of the workforce and the retirement of veteran employees who have been the bearers of a safety culture, the limitations of safety measures that overly rely on human awareness are being recognized.
In the process of creating a workplace where accidents cannot occur, the adoption of a guardrail as a physical barrier is expanding. They are indispensable for realizing the "separation of foot and vehicle" (separation of people and vehicles), which prevents people and vehicles from mixing in the same workplace.
There are two main uses for guardrails.
In many factories, lines are drawn on the floor to provide walking zones or to separate work areas from vehicle areas. However, lines alone do not prevent unexpected vehicle intrusion. For this reason, physical barriers are constructed, with guardrails to guard against this.
Used to prevent collisions with production equipment, transport equipment, buildings (columns, shutters, piping), etc., that could negatively impact production and logistics.
There are three main types of guardrails used at manufacturing sites, and they are selected according to the operating environment.
These barriers are installed on the floor without bolts. They do not have the ability to catch impacts and serve only as a visual warning. They are often used as temporary barriers to provide a primary warning, but may also be installed permanently. (In the latter case, upgrading to a barrier with higher protection should be considered).
Steel barriers have been widely used in the past. They provide a certain degree of protection against vehicle collisions and are available in a variety of dimensions. Their weakness is that they are deformed after a single collision and need to be replaced. In addition, they are not shock absorbent and are transmitted directly to the floor, which frequently results in damage to the concrete floor.
These barriers have been rapidly adopted in recent years and offer advanced protective performance. Made of polymer resin, it is characterized by its ability to absorb impact and recover its original shape. They do not require replacement in the event of a collision, and there are no sanitary concerns, such as rusting or peeling paint. Since the impact is absorbed and does not reach the floor, there is no damage to the concrete.
By choosing a manufacturer that publishes its rating for the level of impact it is designed to handle, you can be sure that you are getting the right protection for your work environment and vehicle specifications.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Steel King Industries, Inc. based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA and was established in 1970 is a manufacturer of material handling products and systems. The company offers pallet racks, drive in rack, flow rack, pushback rack, pick modules, mezzanines, cantilever racks, portable racks, industrial containers, custom shipping racks, and industrial safety guard railing. It is the nation’s only single-source manufacturer of its products and has a proven devotion to the material handling and standards that improve operational efficiency in various environments.
GSI Highway Products was founded in 1970 as Gordon’s Specialties Inc., headquartered in Hutchins, Texas, and is a manufacturer and supplier of bridges and rails. The company specializes in the production and distribution of steel and aluminum bridge rails, pedestrian rails, handrails, highway guardrails, fabricated steel components, and trailer truck-mounted attenuators serving the highway, bridge, and utility construction sectors. For traffic control and road safety, the company designs and manufactures arrow boards, message boards, wide-flange terminal anchor beams, expansion joints, and JJ hooks. The company is an AISC-certified fabricator and manufactures its products according to DOT standards.
Tie Down Engineering, established in 1969, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a manufacturer of roofing, marine, and safety products. The company’s products include roof zone, roofing tools, safety equipment, construction equipment, and dock hardware and accessories, among others. Since 1985, it includes the existing technology and security standards in the field of general constructions. Its aim was to manufacture and supply products made specifically in the United States, reducing dependence on foreign imports. Over 90 patents and 7,000 products used all over the world.
Babcock Davis, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of specialty building and access products that was established in 1948 and is headquartered in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, USA. The company specializes in the design and production of multiple products including Access Doors, Entrance Mats and Grilles, Fall Protection, Fire Protection Specialties, and Floor Doors. Its products such as roof hatches, smoke vents, and stair treads are used by several industries, as diverse as commercial construction, industrial, and institutional. The company also offers a wide range of services, including engineering, and installation.
Omega Industrial Safety, established in 1987 and headquartered in Saukville, Wisconsin, is a supplier of safety barrier solutions. Its comprehensive range of industrial barrier and safe access products safeguards workers from hazards. Products encompass guardrails & posts, pipe and column guard protection, bollard guards and covers, pallet rack and floor guards, as well as door & track guards, and heavy duty corner guards. Its products play a crucial role in enhancing workplace safety by providing an array of protective solutions for various industries, offering protection to personnel, machinery, walls, doors, and finished goods on-site.
Ideal Shield is a manufacturer of facility maintenance and protection products, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, and was founded in 1997. The company's product line includes bollards and bollard covers, guardrails, handrails, sign systems, electric vehicle charging accessories, and others. It operates five manufacturing plants and has a vast distribution network throughout the United States. The company's products are used in stadiums, parking lots, manufacturing and landscaping industries, and municipalities. It is part of the Ideal Group of Companies, providing steel and construction services, facility maintenance and protection products, and material management.
Garlock Safety Systems was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota. The company is a manufacturer of fall protection safety equipment. The company provides rooftop and indoor fall protection solutions, it also provides roofing and construction services and material handling solutions. The company's products line includes LadderGuard, RailGuard, and maintenance hole fall prevention systems. The company's construction safety equipment are used in skylight guarding, roof hatch and machine guarding, and roof edge protection, these products meet the OSHA standards.
Nystrom Building Products, founded in Minneapolis, MN, in 1948 is a supplier of building products such as Expansion Joint & Compression Seal Systems and Access Doors & Panels. The company's product range includes full lines of lumber, plywood and sheathing, masonry supplies, decking materials, windows and doors. Their products are used in Commercial Spaces, Construction, Commercial Buildings, industrial Automation and Office Spaces. The company also provides services including national distribution, product selection, customized services, technical support and customer service.
Valtir, LLC is a manufacturer and supplier of highway safety products, founded in 1969 and headquartered in Addison, Texas. The company's product line includes sign supports, guardrails, crash cushions, end terminals, and many others. It provides a wide range of infrastructure products for highways, rural roads, urban development, and specialty niche markets. The company supports industry associations through active memberships and committee participation, these associations includes American Traffic Safety Services Association and Associated General Contractors.
NIPPON STEEL METAL PRODUCTS CO. is a manufacturer of cold roll-formed steel products, founded in 1973 at Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo. The company’s parent organization is Nippon Steel which manufactures cold-pressed steel for both construction and civil engineering. Products comprise steel sheets, steel strips, steel bars, guardrails, steel frame dams, etc. Mold flux for continuous casting is included in their chemical materials for steel manufacturing. The products are made from stainless steel offering a holistic solution against aggressive conditions and delivering immense endurability. These are primarily used in automobiles, electrical appliances, heavy construction, dams, and bridges, etc.
mmcité USA, founded in the USA in 2018 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the North American branch of mmcité based in the Czech Republic that was established in 1994 and is a designer, manufacturer, and supplier of street furniture for the public and corporate spaces. The company creates purpose-built streetscapes, including site furnishings, shade structures, and seating, such as gazebos, benches, tables, litter receptacles, and bike racks. The company partners with and supports a number of organizations, including the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
Vestil Manufacturing Corp. is a manufacturer and distributor of material handling equipment, based in Michigan since 1957. The company produces equipment for various industries such as they make floor markers, speed bumps and car stops, etc. for Facilities Maintenance. Their hoists and trollies, drum handling equipment, carts, and dollies, and industrial ladders have applications in the agricultural, manufacturing, construction, and general marketing industries. Other than that scales, casters, wheels, packaging equipment, and similar items have uses in the postal services, hospitals, restaurants, and food production companies. Overall Vestil provides a solution to manage material handling in any department.
SAYFA GROUP, founded in Australia in 2002 is a manufacturer of height safety and fall protection solutions. The company offers an extensive selection of full-body harnesses and lanyards designed for various applications, from construction to maintenance work, a line of anchor points and anchor systems that enable safe and secure attachment for fall protection equipment and guardrail and edge protection solutions are designed to create a safe working environment along edges and open sides of structures.
DELTABLOC Sverige AB was launched in 2000 in Helsingborg, Sweden, and is a manufacturer and supplier of noise barriers and concrete vehicle restraints systems. The company's product portfolio includes deltabloc safety barriers, steelbloc safety quad rails, citybloc security barriers, and phonobloc noise barriers. It also makes DB products, special rails, urban barriers, and DB NBF Series that offer permanent, urban, noise, and work zone barriers solutions. The products have been installed in Germany, Brazil, Tanzania, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.
MPM is a manufacturer of Industrial protection and safety systems located in Padova, Italy, and was established in 1985. The company's product line includes guardrails, bollards, cable covers, rack protections, and other safety products. These products are space-saving, modular and easy to install for safety of workers, racks, and machinery. The company's products find application in transport and logistics, food and beverage production, chemical and textiles, airports, and several others. The company provides safety system accessories, useful safety tools, and fixing accessories.
SafetyLink Pty Ltd., established in 1998, is a manufacturer of fall protection products located in Thornton, New South Wales. The company produces roof anchors, horizontal and vertical lifelines, rail systems, and fistfit davit systems. It provides fall protection planning, up-to-date training, and technical information for its customers. The company runs a network of trained height safety distributors, installers, and engineers. The company's products undergo extensive testing and conform to the standards of accredited testing facilities.
Handle It, Inc. is a manufacturer of handling and packaging equipment founded in 1976, and located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company manufactures semi-automatic, automatic, and robotic stretch wrap machines, guard rails, rack and post protectors, and orbital wrappers. These products find application in bottles, boxes, plastic components, and more, serving the oil and gas, brewery, agricultural, and pharmaceutical industries.The company provides Industrial and warehouse solutions as well as custom engineered solutions and it is affiliated to the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA).
Ingal Civil Products, a division of Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd., is a manufacturer and supplier of highway safety barrier systems located in Minto, New South Wales, and established in 1993. The company specializes in engineered steel products and galvanizing services. It provides a wide of products such as carpark and Industrial barriers, workzone and traffic control products, and delineation and fencing products. The company provides quality assurance for all its products and these products find application in car parks, mine sites, and railway crossings.