Don’t take powered gate safety for granted
8th March 2016
Following an accident involving a poorly designed telescopic gate, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has prosecuted the manufacturer and installer. This accident and subsequent prosecution show why it is so important that architects and specifiers of new powered telescopic gates, as well as users of existing gates, should not take gate safety for granted. Procter Automatic Gates, a part of Procter Contracts, has always taken gate safety very seriously, which is why it has published a White Paper and produced a free Powered Gate Risk Assessment Calculator.
A recent accident and subsequent prosecution by the HSE demonstrate that the safety of telescopic gates should not be for granted by architects, specifiers or users.
In February 2016 the HSE reported that the manufacturer and installer of a defective gate had been successfully prosecuted for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5000. In the accident that led to this court case, a failure in the telescopic gate drive mechanism resulted in a gate leaf coming out of the guide runners and falling on the person who was attempting to manually close the gate. One of the gate’s vertical rails struck his leg, causing muscle and nerves to be torn away. He was hospitalised for ten days and unable to return to work for a year.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Dean Baker said: “Powered gates pose a risk to employees and members of the public. Those responsible for installing, maintaining and operating these gates need to make sure they are safe during installation and use. This accident could have been avoided if the clearly foreseeable risk of the gate falling had been identified and controlled.”
The Powered Gate Group of the Door and Hardware Federation (DHF), of which Procter Automatic Gates is a member, recently published Safety Warning Notice No 1, ‘Telescopic sliding gate safety’, with the aim of preventing further accidents of this type. DHF training officer Nick Perkins stated: “Telescopic sliding gates present more complex issues than conventional gate designs and so hazard control and maintenance requirements are more complex as a result.” He added that state-of-the-art safety systems are likely to be required, such as laser scanners and light curtains. The DHF Safety Warning Notice, as well as other gate safety guidance documents, can be downloaded from www.dhfonline.org.uk.
Procter Automatic Gates has published a free Telescopic Gate Safety White Paper that addresses all aspects of this vital subject. It contains a wealth of useful information and guidance, and is written in plain English for architects, specifiers and users who need to be aware of the safety issues relating to powered and automatic telescopic gates. In addition to the advice on gate safety, the White Paper explains the regulatory background and lists the most important British and European standards relating to telescopic gate design, testing, installation and use.
Complementing its White Paper, Procter Automatic Gates recently produced a new version of its popular Gate Risk Assessment Calculator that is suitable for both sliding and telescopic gates. This leads the user through the process to help ensure that gates are safe, whether they are still at the design stage or already manufactured, installed and in operation.
For architects and specifiers preparing designs and specifications for new powered gates, whether of the telescopic, sliding, swing or bi-folding type, Procter Automatic Gates offers a free Specification Checking service. Procter’s experts assess the design and specification, together with information about gate usage, and check that the proposed powered gate complies with all applicable gate safety standards, and guidance from the HSE and DHF Powered Gate Group; finally the experts consider whether the gate could be issued with a Declaration of Conformity and be CE marked in accordance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC – which is a legal obligation for powered gates being installed in Europe.
However, architects and specifiers may also be interested to know that Procter Automatic Gates recently launched a range of Pro-glide Telescopic Gates, adding to the company’s existing ranges of sliding, swing and bi-folding gates. As with the other types of gate, the Pro-glide telescopic gates can be customised in terms of height, width, infill, aesthetic features and access controls – or fully bespoke gates can be created. Pro-glide Telescopic gates are, of course, designed and manufactured to comply with relevant standards and guidance, and are CE marked in accordance with the Machinery Directive to ensure that they are, in fact, safe.
More information about Pro-glide telescopic gates is available, and the downloads section provides access to the Telescopic Gate Safety White Paper, the Gates Risk Assessment Calculator and the DHF Guide to Gate Safety Legislation and Standards. Alternatively, contact the company for more information about powered gate safety or to discuss specific projects by means of the Live Chat facility on the website, telephone us or email [email protected].