Wednesday, 20 June 2012

DHF renews its call for regular shutter maintenance following “near fatal” warehouse accident

The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has renewed its campaign to encourage regular maintenance of industrial roller shutters following a “near fatal” accident at a Scarborough warehouse.

A worker suffered multiple injuries at the warehouse following the failure of a roller shutter due to the lack of proper maintenance. The man’s employers were fined £30,000 after they were prosecuted by Scarborough Council under health and safety legislation.

The DHF, which represents manufacturers of industrial rolling shutters, has repeatedly urged companies to ensure roller shutters are serviced and maintained regularly. Its campaign follows a series of workplace accidents where injuries have been caused by falling shutters.

At the court hearing in Scarborough following this latest accident, Steve Pogson, health and community manager at Scarborough Council, said: “This was a very serious incident that could so easily have had fatal consequences.

“The prosecution and heavy penalty should serve as a warning to everyone with health and safety responsibilities that they must ensure they maintain potentially dangerous equipment in a safe manner.”

After the accident environmental health officers carried out a full investigation, and the shutter was found to have had failures in multiple parts as it had not been properly maintained. Although the door had been subject to repairs, these were only undertaken when a fault occurred rather than being part of a planned system of maintenance and inspection, the court heard.

Said DHF general manager and secretary Michael Skelding: “Our advice to building owners regarding industrial shutters is clear - it’s vital that regular maintenance is carried out by a competent door engineer. DHF member companies have the necessary skills and they work to our DHF TS 004 standard for repair and maintenance of doors, shutters and gates. They will also be able to recommend a suitable service and maintenance schedule that will be based on the individual use to which the shutter is put.”

The DHF provides guidelines on its website to help all those who are responsible for maintaining powered shutters.

Available from the DHF website is the Code of Practice for the Repair and Maintenanceof Industrial and Commercial Doors which stresses the importance of regular door and shutter maintenance. The Code spells out what should be done to achieve optimum quality of operation with maximum safety in use throughout the full expected lifecycle of the equipment. Also available from the website is the DHF TS004 standard. 

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