Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, partitions were common in commercial and industrial settings. From retail fitting rooms to manufacturing facilities, various industries have long used barriers for safety and privacy.
Nowadays, it’s practically impossible to go a day without seeing glass or plexiglass COVID barriers at the grocery store, bank, hospital, school and so on.
Although you’ll find these barriers in countless different industries, they all have one thing in common: They can’t stand up on their own. One of the best ways to create a sturdy, movable barrier system is to use extruded aluminum framing. Let’s look at how you can use modular aluminum framing to facilitate your safety barrier setup.
Proper Use of COVID Barriers
Most importantly, aluminum framing makes it easy to use COVID barriers properly. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), it’s essential to install partitions with safety in mind and keep pathways clear in case of an emergency. Securing your COVID barriers with lightweight aluminum extrusions means your partitions are sturdy but not impossible to move.
The NIH also notes that you should always secure your partitions to keep them from falling or tipping over. Once again, aluminum framing is an obvious choice, as it’s quick and easy to secure and resecure as needed.
To create a safe environment for all customers and employees, be sure to follow other NIH COVID guidelines, such as:
- Ensuring the barrier dimensions exceed the breathing zone of all users
- Creating slots in barrier materials to discourage employees and customers from stepping around the partition
- Combining barriers with face coverings, physical distancing and regular disinfection of high-traffic touchpoints
Extruded Aluminum Framing Solutions
To meet these NIH guidelines (and more), you can turn to extruded aluminum framing. These solutions consist of a series of interconnected aluminum lengths, and they come with all kinds of tangible benefits.
Benefits of Modular Aluminum Framing
When setting up or updating your safety barrier system, you have several material choices to consider. You could secure your sneeze shields or machine safety guards with wood, plastic, aluminum or something else.
Why choose aluminum over any other material?
Ultimately, aluminum performs better than wood or plastic because:
- It’s durable – Aluminum stands the test of time better than wood or plastic, especially if customers or employees frequently come in contact with it. It’s also corrosion-resistant, making it an ideal choice for outdoor safety barriers.
- It’s easy to clean – If you’re using your barriers to protect from COVID-19 (and other illnesses), you’ll want to disinfect all parts of the system regularly. Aluminum is much easier to sanitize than porous materials like wood.
- It looks professional – You can choose from numerous aluminum finish types to guarantee your barriers match your branding. For example, polished aluminum has a mirror-like appearance, while powder-coated aluminum of any color can be glossy or matte.
- It’s convenient to move – Because aluminum is lightweight, you and your employees can easily move, disassemble and reassemble the barrier system day after day. Aluminum framing is also modular, meaning you can configure it differently to suit your changing needs.
Frequently Used Materials
If you hope to set up a modular aluminum framing system for your safety barriers, you’ll need a few essential materials, such as:
- T-slot aluminum or press-fit framing, and either
- T-slot accessories (including T-nuts, connector cubes and hinges), or
- Press-fit connectors
Of course, you’ll also need the shields themselves. These are generally made from glass, plexiglass or polycarbonate sheeting.
Keep Your Employees and Customers Safe with Orange Aluminum
Whether you work in retail, manufacturing, banking or healthcare, ensuring that everyone is safe is always a priority. With a customizable, durable, easy-to-use barrier system, you can focus on safety without missing out on other aspects of your business.
If you’re ready to create a barrier system from scratch or upgrade your existing setup, we’re here to help. At Orange Aluminum, our experts can help recommend the right products for your project, or even come up with a custom solution to suit your needs.
Contact us today to learn more about how we use modular aluminum framing to help you keep your people safe.
National Institute of Health. Proper Use of Barriers (Plexiglass/Lexan) in the Workplace. https://ors.od.nih.gov/News/Pages/Proper-Use-of-Barriers-Plexiglass-Lexan-in-the-Workplace.aspx