Safety barrier

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Platform barriers at the station of Paulinenaue (Berlin–Hamburg high-speed track)

A safety barrier is a component which prevents passage into a dangerous area, commonly used to mitigate risk. Safety barriers may be hard barriers physically restricting passage or soft barriers that control circuits based on the presence of foreign bodies.


A safety barrier is a component which prevents passage into a dangerous area. It is commonly used to mitigate risk in the Hazard-Barrier-Target model, as studied in safety science. Work Safe Victoria (an Australian organization) defines a Safety Barrier as a device that:[1]

  • physically separate the work area and the travelled way,
  • are designed to resist penetration of an out-of control vehicle, and
  • have properties which redirect an out-of-control vehicle back on to the road away from the work area.

Types of barriers[edit]

Hard barriers are fixed or removable guards which prevent entry. There include fences, traffic barriers, and crush barriers.

Soft barriers are devices such as light curtains. They detect the presence of a foreign body and are tied into the control circuit to stop the machine.


Safety barriers vary depending on their application. In an industrial setting, a safety barrier may be a fence or window, designed to keep the operator away from moving parts or other hazards. In an automotive setting, the barrier may be a traffic barrier or Jersey barrier, separating lanes/directions of traffic flow. In crowd control, terracess use crush barriers to reduce the risk of human crush in large crowds..............


  1. ^ "SWAT Bulletin" (PDF). SWAT Bulletin Number 4. Work Safe Victoria. Retrieved 12 June 2013.