Post 388 – by Gautam Shah 


Post 388 – by Gautam Shah



Humans, vehicles, cattle are vulnerable to movement, drops in elevation, poor visibility of transit worthy routes. These risks can be reduced or eliminated mainly by various types of barriers, guards, rails. Other strategies include use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets, protective clothing, knee guards, air bags,goggles, boots, gloves, mask and systems like shock absorbers, motion diverters and advanced alerts to such dangers, surveillance and help.

Guard rails often multi purpose systems and for faster movements. Guardrails serve wider functions, more than the Handrails. Handrails serve as a real support or a psychological assurance of safety. Guardrails are preferred installations to protect workers whose primary attention is their assigned task and not necessarily safe conduct. because Guard rails do not rely on the worker to be consistently aware of it or trained for its use.


Guardrail on roads are designed to slow the vehicle down to a complete stop, or often slow the vehicle down and then let it proceed back to the road edge lane. The size and speed of the vehicle affects the performance of the guardrail. Other factor include vehicle’s orientation or angle of the strike.


Guardrails are, both, protective barriers and rails for guidance. These are placed against a drop in terrain (of more than 750mm), against the edges of exclusive passage, or rights of ways. Guardrails, mark a visually recognizable guide line. Such guide lines are recognizable in inclement weather (heavy rains, fog, smog and darkness). A guard rail often is designed to bear heavier impact of side thrusts in comparison to a hand rail. A hand rail, as per most of the building standards cannot have a gap larger than 100 mm, whereas for Guardrails can have a gap slightly smaller than the front wheel dia of the vehicles, or at least 220mm.


Guardrails are placed in buildings, terrains and roads. Many of the edge side structures such as, hand rails, parapets or fences can be called guard rails. Guardrails are both man-made structures or contoured natural features. Guardrails on any type of passage ways should be minimal. Modern roads are designed in a manner to eliminate the need for a guard rail. These means include provisions of apron spaces, contoured ends and landscaped features to indicate presence of zones of dangers. Road barricades work as guardrails. Many are installed as temporary (demountable) or permanent structures to prevent surprise or forced entry of terrorists or demonstrators.


Protective Road Guardrails or barricades -folding and lightweight by Police > Flickr image by Indi Samarajiva

Guardrails are essentially of two types: 1. Rigid ones bear an impact to an extent, but mainly help bounce back of the object in certain direction, and possibly retard the movement of the object; 2. Flexible ones bear the impact substantially within the body and yet redirect the object to a safer zone. In both the cases an objective is to keep the vehicle upright while being deflected along the guardrail.


Lantau Island Sunny Bay Road HK > Wikipedia image by Summa06


Road guardrails are designed with the roads or installed as retrofit when certain sections show such a need. Former types of guardrails are fairly long whereas the later types are zone-specific and comparatively shorter. Specific types of guide rails are placed to prevent accidents due to the road elements or fixed objects. These elements include bridge supports, piers, road signages, culverts, trees, etc.


Live Guards forming a Rail for crowd control > Wikipedia image by Craig Martell

Guardrails on roads and other sites have the inner edge (use or the movement side face) completely free of obstructions. The rails are so constructed that they form a continuous visual and functional surface. The joints formed with a backing element rather than by lapping. The colour and surface texture are consistent.


Crowd anti stampede Guards at Saltergate > Wikipedia image by Jaxban 

Guardrails function as an integrated system where the guardrail, posts, post foundation structure and support braces, all share the impact load. In spite of a rigid design, guardrails do deflect. The amount of deflection depends on such factors as: straight or curved formation of the guardrail layout, height of the guardrail, shape or section of the rail, direction of the impact (parallel, head-on, angular), weight of impacting objects (mass-inertia), height of the impacting object, nature of support posts, and distance between the supports.


Guardrails for Niagara Falls > Wikipedia image by Wladyslaw

Road and other guard rails are universal structures, serving variety of vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, cycles), people (adults, infirm, children, rowdy crowds), climatic conditions (rains, fog, smog, snow), and varying terrain conditions (floods, landslides, dumping, oil leaks). An optimum height for a car may not prevent a truck from toppling over the rail and a motorbike or human being sliding under it.

A Bollard is a sturdy, short, vertical pillar like post. It was used on piers as mooring for boats. It is now used to prevent automotive vehicles from colliding or crashing into pedestrians areas and for vehicle-ramming terror attacks or unintentional losses of control.



Barricade Bollards > Pixabay free images by serghei_topor Enter a caption

A Palisade (stakewall or paling) is a guard fencing. It is a defensive barrier or enclosure made from iron or wooden stakes, or tree trunks, Word Palisade derives from pale, (Latin word pālus, meaning stake). A stake used to support a fence. A palisade can spaced or ganged to form a wall or placed cross wise to prevent climb off.




One thought on “GUARDRAILS

  1. Pingback: PERSONAL AND BUILDING SAFETY –a List + Links to Blogs | Interior Design Assist

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