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Q: What's the most expensive bollard in the world? A: It's the one that fails

Everyone's nightmare -- a safety barrier is installed by a retailer to protect employees and customers and pedestrians. A wayward vehicle in a parking lot suddenly approaches at some speed, strikes the barrier, and instead of stopping, the vehicle blows right passed and injures 5 people inside the store.

This is exactly what happened this week at a #DollarTree store in Maine. The product that was installed was NOT a product meant to stop vehicles -- it's a flexible warehouse product, not a #storefrontsafety product. I was interviewed by Terry Stackhouse at WMTW news about what sort of bollard was installed, and why it was unable to stop an oncoming vehicle. Here is the video including my interview as well as information about the product.

Now the finger pointing begins. Did the manufacturer recommend or ship the wrong product? Did the contractor buy and install the specified product, or just a cheaper product? Did the retailer know what was installed at their front door? We will soon know more of the story.

But the larger lesson for retailers and for property owners is clear: Know the product. Know the specifications that are applicable. Know that your project management team is competent and on the ball. Do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way. If a retailer or property owner is taking on responsibility for the safety of people inside their store, then be certain that what you are installing will actually make them safe -- or five more people might get hurt.


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