Health and Safety Executive – Safety Notice: OPSTD 1-2011 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/poweredgates.htm) Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.
The purpose of this General Safety Notice is to advise Landlords, Commercial owners or facilities managers of properties with Powered Perimeter Gates, what they must do to ensure the safety of people in the vicinity of such gates.
The advice below summarises the action you need to take so that the public, your staff, and other workers are not put at risk by the gate’s design, construction, operation or lack of maintenance.
During the summer of 2010 two children died after becoming trapped in powered gates. They were trapped because:
- Their presence at the closing edge was not detected; and
- The closing force of the gate when they obstructed it was too high.
HSE issued two Safety Notices in 2010 giving some details on the risks and the protection methods needed. This detailed information is intended primarily for the gate industry, but it will help you check that the company or person you employ to maintain or install such gates is competent, as they should be aware of the content and be able to explain its details to you. These Safety Notices are available on the HSE website at:
- Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates
- Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates – 2
Following this guidance will help you comply with your legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and other related regulations.
Action to take:
- Check your gate is being maintained by a reputable company who regularly test the safety features of the gateto ensure they are set and working correctly – they should use measuring equipment to test closing forces. Keep a log of maintenance.
- Ask the gate maintenance company to show you how to release the gate in an emergency – this should be easy and quick to do. You may need to inform your staff or other users how to do this.
- Also ask them to show you the safety features including:-
- any safety edges (usually rubber “buffer” strips running the full height of the gate);
- light beams to detect a person or object in the way of the closing gate;
- the operation of the force limitation device (although this is unlikely to be enough to stop injury on its own);
- fixed guards at other areas e.g. where the vertical bars of a gate slide close to the vertical bars of a fence.
- If you are purchasing a new gate, check that the installer can show you the features explained above, and that they will CE mark the gate and issue you a Declaration of Conformity. If they are unsure about how to do this it may be a reason to doubt their competence.
Please pass this information to others who have this equipment on their premises.