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How do I make sure my barriers are right for me?


At Clarity, we work with factory managers all over the UK and one of the biggest challenges our customers face is What impact rating should our barriers have?


This is certainly an important question to ask. The barriers impact rating have no means of being increased or reduced after they have been installed. The decision needs to be correct the first time, as there is no turning back.

So how does one know what impact rating to choose?

Clarity VM impact rating selector

How do I choose the right impact rated barriers for my factory?

  • What standard am I working to?
  • What is the heaviest load that the barriers may have to protect against?
  • What is the maximum speed which the FLT may hit the barrier?
  • What are the future plans? reducing shipping costs with larger pallets? switching from gas to battery FLTs?
  • What is the worst case direction of travel in which the barrier may be impacted?


What standard am I working to?

This is a really important question to ask, I've had factory managers say 'we just want a physical barrier to upgrade from having no barrier'. 

Naturally, my next question is 'why'.

Many people think that having a PAS13 compliant barrier is expensive when in reality the cost increase could be as little as 20% more, and that's until the first time an FLT hits a non compliant barrier and you end having to spend more on replacing damaged product or worse, an injury.

There are various standards used across Europe but them most commonly used one in the UK is PAS13.


What is the heaviest load that the barrier may need to protect against?

Impact ratings are measured in Joules, this is the amount of kinetic energy that the barrier will need to absorb. The calculation for this is as follows: KE = (1/2)mv2 ... Looks complicated but lets break it down Kinetic Energy = Half of the mass times the velocity squared. The mass is the total weight of the FLT including its heaviest load, if you FLT weighs 3 tonnes, and its heaviest load is 2 tonnes then the 'Mass' is 5 Tonnes.

Click on the calculator below to work out your barrier requirements:

impact energy calculator

What is the maximum speed that the barrier may need to protect against?

This is where is gets slightly tricky, but dont worry - we have built a calculator to take the pain away.

Velocity for this calculation is measured in metres per second, to calculate metres per second from say 8 Km/h, multiply by 0.277778, gives a result of 2.22222 m/s. 

You actually dont need to work this out as this energy calculator will do it all for you: 

Kinetic Energy calculator


What are the future plans for my factory?

Consider carefully if there may be plans to change pack formats, even a change from a euro pallet to a UK pallet increases the size of the pallet considerably. Upgrading FLTs from gas or diesel can increase the FLT weight.


What is the likely direction of travel of an FLT impact?

It is widely accepted that for most barriers, an impact angle of 45 degrees is the standard calculation for most barriers, if your factory layout means that the potential impact angle is 90 degrees then the actual barrier impact resistance will be greater than a barrier designed for the same impact at 45 degrees, similarly, if there is only the risk of an impact at 22.5 degrees, the barrier impact resistance can be less than that of a barrier at 45 degrees. All reputable manufacturers will give you a range of impact resistances.

Impact resistance

Download the Factory Fit-out buyers guide here:

Download the factory Fit-out Buyers Guide