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Blog - When to Use Water-Filled Barriers, and When to Use Concrete Barriers

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When to Use Water-Filled Barriers, and When to Use Concrete Barriers

When to Use Water-Filled Barriers, and When to Use Concrete Barriers

Success in safety is about having tools and products which are fit for purpose. But when various types of product, such as barrier products, are fit for more than one purpose, how do you decide which one best suits the situation? Understanding the differences between and ways to use water-filled barriers or concrete barriers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages offered by each, can go a long way to enabling you to choose the best barrier for the job.

Concrete – a solid option

Pre-cast concrete barriers can be used to create robust barrier and traffic flow systems. The majority of pre-cast concrete barriers have the advantage of being free-standing, but have built-in linkage systems to allow versatility in deployment. These secure linking attributes help to create robust security and safety barricades.

But the benefit of concrete barriers doesn’t end there because concrete barriers also offer the advantage of a secure footing for tamper-proof fencing and gate systems. These can add considerable height and controlled access security to designated areas of barriers.

Of course, concrete barriers also have the advantage of weight and are available across a range of different weightings, from 1100kg to 2500kg. These provide an excellent all-weather option for durability as well as safety and security but of course the significant weight does mean that these barriers are not necessarily easy to transport or redeploy on an ad-hoc basis.

Another significant disadvantage of concrete barriers is the considerable outlay required for a complete system, which might include extras for linkage, fence and gate panels. However, concrete barrier systems can be hired as well as purchased, which can make use of concrete barriers particularly viable and is definitely worth considering on a try-before-you-buy basis in order to identify if concrete barriers are the best for your needs.

Water filled barriers – easy does it

Water-filled barriers are generally lower cost to purchase and offer the additional advantage of being extremely easy to transport and store. Although these aspects might seem to be less essential, when considering which type of barrier is best to deploy, storage and transportation are important considerations depending on the frequency and duration for use of the barriers. If they are likely to be moved often, then the lower cost of transporting this type of barrier is something that might offer long-term benefits.

Water-filled barriers are versatile and come in a good range of sizes and heights:

  • Low barriers are ideal for quickly setting up temporary road blocks and traffic management;
  • Mid-height barriers (around 3 foot in height and length) provide easily visible traffic and pedestrian control, as well as advertising and information signage possibilities, increasing their potential use;
  • Tall plastic barriers can offer significant strength, with their extra height offering increased visibility. These are ideal for long-term use on construction sites, but without the cost of concrete barriers.

Fit for purpose?

Consideration always needs to be given to the suitability of the barriers for the job required. For example, concrete barriers offer more robust, roadside protection, whilst water-filled barriers are easier to deploy on a temporary basis and have additional directional versatility. Whilst both types of barrier can be used interchangeably for roles such as designating routes through work sites or for pedestrian management, each type of barrier also offers additional features making them ideal for specific situations:

Concrete barriers

With their additional weight, concrete barriers offer significantly more protection for:

  • Safety for pedestrians and road workers against vehicle collisions and roadside impacts;
  • Safety and security for keeping heavy plant vehicles secure from vandals or theft;
  • Safety, security and movement around construction sites;
  • Safety and security when used to create barrier walls;
  • Security for vulnerable buildings or outdoor sites, as concrete barriers can double as retaining walls.

Water-filled barriers

With their versatility in lightweight deployment, water-filled barriers can be particularly useful when:

  • Fast deployment is required, such as in disaster or emergency management.
  • Additional ballast may be required, such as if whether conditions worsen and a temporary barrier system needs additional weighting to remain effective;
  • The barriers can be the ideal option for companies which attend many jobs for short duration, rather than long-term, as they are easy to transport, install and redeploy.
  • Interlocking linkage systems mean that water-filled barriers can be erected to form a straight line or curves as required, for the ultimate in flexible crowd control, making them ideal for events, festivals and sporting gatherings.
  • Additionally, some water-filled barriers are constructed with a steel framework which adds considerable crash-resistance. These types of water-filled barrier can be used in situations where direct contact with vehicles is a risk factor.

Content provided by: Safe Site Facilities

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