The Berry Systems range of Industrial Safety Barriers inevitably owes much to their pedigree in the car park market. But, essentially, the two markets share much the same problems. Accidents with vehicles in warehouses, principally forklift or pallet trucks, usually happen at less than 10 miles per hour rather than the high speeds of motorway crashes. Over many years they have adapted and developed their renowned flexible car park barriers to provide specific solutions for industrial environments.

Double-BarrierA good example of this was seen at the new Co-operative Group Regional Distribution Centre at Avonmouth, near Bristol. The 40,485 sq m (435,780 sq ft)  state of the art facility is conveniently located near to junction 18 of the M5 and so ideally placed to distribute goods to 482 Co-operative stores in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Wales area.

Integrated Power Outlets

Berry Systems safety barriers have been installed extensively both inside and outside. The access roads are lined with Berry Barrier Rails mounted on Flexi-Posts. In the vehicle waiting areas power cables have been cleverly integrated into the barrier. Post extensions have been added to every other post and these have been used to mount power outlets. This allows refrigerated vehicles to connect easily and quickly to an external power source while minimising the amount of loose cabling needed. The Flexi-Posts give greater protection if a reversing vehicle doesn’t quite stop in time thereby avoiding damage to the barrier, the power cables and the HGVs. Berry Systems also installed a number of exterior bollards to protect doorways and other access points and further barriers to protect fuel storage and other plant.

Complete Fork Protection

Inside the distribution centre many areas benefit from Berry’s unique double rail system, mounted on spring steel buffers, that features two interlocking barrier rails that create an impenetrable, but flexible, barrier from ground level to a height of 610 mm. This completely blocks the forks of forklift or pallet trucks and protects the legs of pedestrians on the ‘safe’ side of the barrier. A specific customisation for the Co-op was the addition of a small ground level channel in the milk storage area that contains any spillages and prevents them from seeping under the barrier.
Structural columns benefit from Berry’s spring steel column protection units that flex on impact to minimise damage to vehicles while providing complete impact protection to the column. Goods doorways have Berry’s steel “goal posts” and pedestrian walkways are guarded by Berry handrail systems with low level “fork” protection. Berry steel rack protectors have been installed to the racking ends with high visibility yellow stripes that aid visual awareness. Loading bays are protected by a combination of bollards and bright yellow wheel guides. The developers were Gallan Group and Stoford working with main contractor Volker Fitzpatrick.

Earlier Success in Durham

The contract at Avonmouth followed highly successful earlier work for the Co-op at their Composite Distribution Centre in County Durham. This covers 25,600 sq metres (276,000 sq ft) and supplies a vast range of products to 262 Co-operative stores in the North and North East of England. This keeps the 500+ staff very busy with a couple of hundred vehicle movements every day. Architects RPS Burks Green were just as keen as the Co-op to ensure that all areas were properly protected.

Walkways were separated wherever possible by heavy duty steel balustrades both internally and externally. Plant and equipment was protected by the careful siting of bollards, fork lift truck wheel guides, racking protectors and column protectors. Height restrictors were fitted on internal doorways and vulnerable areas were further protected by fork protection double barriers. Outside, in the HGV area, perimeter barriers were supplemented by speed ramps and wheel stops.


In total well over 2 km of various safety barriers and balustrading was installed plus three swinging interior gateways custom designed to the precise requirements of this installation.

Distribution Manager Colin Smith said “We’re delighted with all the safety equipment in this state of the art facility. It all seems to be functioning excellently and the service from Berry has been very good. They responded to our needs throughout and their products are well engineered.”

Berry’s MD Steve Dunn said “We’re very pleased to have carried out these installations for the Co-op. It emphasises the experience we have installing safety barriers at large distribution centres throughout the UK. You can’t cut corners where safety is concerned and it’s vital that products can be proved to perform at the required levels by fully independent testing as well as by utilising tried and tested design expertise.”

Morrisons Bridgwater RDC

The Morrisons Regional Distribution Centre at Bridgwater in Somerset is, by any standard, vast. The site covers nearly 60 acres and provides over 71,000 square metres of warehousing (over 3/4 million sq ft) to distribute Morrisons goods to 63 stores in the West and South West of England and South Wales.

DLA Architecture specified over 2.5km of safety barriers from Berry Systems. This specification not only met the approval of the client – Morrisons- but also the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, who have worked with Berry Systems a number of times previously and have confidence in the Berry installation teams.

Just over 1.5km of barrier was installed inside the warehouse and nearly 1km outside. Interior locations included nearly 800m of Berry’s Spring Steel Buffers on which a small “warehouse rail” is mounted below a standard barrier rail to provide additional protection to pedestrian walkways. In addition extensions were fitted to the 610mm high buffers to carry a handrail at 1100mm height.

A further 600m of Barrier rails were fitted right down at ground level, mounted onto mini spring steel buffers, 100m at the standard 610mm height and 24m of Berry’s unique double rail design in the frozen foods warehouse.

The varying styles specified illustrates how Berry Systems can provide barriers to meet different requirements in different areas. It’s not one size fits all.


Other specialist applications included 60 column protection units in 3 different versions and heavy duty barriers to protect the LPG store from passing HGVs. The main external barrier specification was 650m of heavy duty barrier installed along the main perimeter road to and from the loading bays to protect HGVs from the drainage ditch running beside the road.

The complex also boasts a waste recycling centre to deal with all the cardboard and paper waste inevitably generated and the access ramps to this facility are, naturally, protected by Berry Systems’ barriers.

Protecting British Exports

Sometimes the car park and industrial sectors overlap. The Port of Southampton is one of the UK’s largest vehicle handling ports, with over  650,000 automotive vehicles passing through the port in 2012. The  large majority of these were UK manufactured cars shipped for export. To accommodate this traffic efficiently Associated British Ports, Britain’s leading port operator, have developed over 80ha of dedicated vehicle storage and distribution compounds.

The facilities include four multi-deck vehicle terminals, the most recent of which was constructed by Morgan Sindall. For all of the multi-decks, the choice of perimeter protection is a crucial one and in this instance Morgan Sindall selected the wire rope solution from Berry Systems. The deck is a steel framed construction with concrete slab decks and is the second deck at Southampton to have been fitted with Berry Systems’ barriers. The standard Berry Brisafe column mounted system consists of 3 tensioned wire ropes running through a mesh panel that provides an integrated anti-climb feature and pedestrian handrail.

However, the particular usage at Southampton meant that the anti-climb mesh and handrail was not required as there is no public or general pedestrian access. So a combination of five and six wire systems was developed, employing four low level wires at a typical vehicle impact height and to cater for the varying range of vehicle sizes encountered. The higher, fifth and sixth wires are at handrail height and complete the barrier by providing personnel protection. All wires were coated in bright yellow plastic for high visibility.

The cables were anchored to the structural columns and then tensioned to provide the required impact resistance while still retaining flexibility to minimise any impact damage. This creates an ideal environment for the many high value cars in transit through the port, including BMW Minis, Landrovers, Range Rovers and Jaguars. It avoids the cost and disruption of the potential damage that would be caused by minor impacts with a solid perimeter wall. The wire rope system also has no footprint on the parking deck and so maximises the storage space available.

Soft Stop Bollards

Aggreko plc, the world leader in the field of power and temperature control rental, became the first company in the UK to have Berry Systems new Soft Stop bollards installed at its 170,000 sq ft Dumbarton facility.


All companies that move heavy goods or equipment about their premises are faced with health and safety issues but the Aggreko factory presented some extreme requirements. A fork lift truck may typically weigh 3½ tonnes but Aggreko transformers, generators and temperature control units are moved by specialist vehicles with a gross laden weight of nearly 20 tonnes.

The many, internal and external vehicle doorways were identified very quickly as needing special protection if they were not to suffer almost inevitable damage from such heavy and powerful vehicles.

Glasgow architects Bradford Robertson considered a number of options before concluding, with main contractors Morgan Sindall, that  the new Berry Systems’ Soft Stop Bollard would provide a cost effective and technically sound solution.


This dynamic energy-absorbing protection system consists of a base on which a protective pole, post or similar is attached. During a collision, the kinetic energy of the impact is progressively absorbed as the post tilts, compressing an elastomeric sleeve within the base. The post is able to tilt from its vertical position to an angle of 20° before it locks within the base. After the impact the post will return to its vertical position, ready to perform once again. A single Type 3 Soft Stop Bollard has been found under independent tests to have a hold power of nearly 13,000 Joules. That’s more than enough to cope with a frontal impact from a 20 tonne vehicle at 4kph.

A total of 104 Soft Stop Bollards were installed at Dumbarton along with nearly 1km of other barriers and handrails, self closing gates and door guards. The contract was completed by the installation of 3 ‘Sitecop Plus’ speed restraints to control the speed of all cars and HGVs on the site.

Steve Dunn said “the new Soft Stop Bollard enables us to offer a very cost effective solution to a difficult problem with a product that looks good in any environment, with a performance that’s way in excess of traditional bollards and will go on performing year in and year out.”


With such a wide range of products and the experience and expertise to adapt them to almost any safety requirement, the future looks very bright for Berry Systems.

Berry Systems

Tel: 01902 491100

Comments are closed.

Get Warehouse & Logistics News delivered to your inbox for FREE
Join over 45k subscribers