OSHA Regulations for Bollards

Image of a bollard.
Image of a bollard. (Image: unkas_photo/iStock/Getty Images)

A bollard is a unit, usually pole-shaped, that is commonly embedded in the ground or a platform and used for safety or security purposes. On a wharf, a bollard is also used to tether a boat or barge by a mooring line. Nonpermanent, reflective, portable bollards are also used in situations that do not require a permanent bollard to be installed, such as traffic construction, sporting events and concerts.

OSHA Bollard Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Hazards Association (OSHA) has laid out a set of standards for bollard use in safety and construction. These standards include specific color requirements (a form of canary yellow called “OSHA” yellow) and the height and weight requirements for portable hollow bollards based on their intended uses.

Security Use of Bollards

Solid bollards are widely used for protection and security purposes. The U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense have approved bollards for security use in public institutions and embassies with security concerns. These bollards are often disguised, painted or covered for aesthetic purposes. The Department of State has a security bollard standard of 15,000 lbs. resistance limit and 50 mph crash speed.

Electric/Manual Bollard Systems

For organizations without major security concerns, bollards can be installed that are designed to be lowered or removed if required. These bollards are usually controlled with a lift system powered by a hydraulic or pneumatic engine, or a manual lock in lower-end systems.

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