Tuesday 17 June 2014

Powered gate industry renews call for higher safety standards following court case

The UK powered gate industry has renewed its call for all automated gates to be installed and maintained exclusively by qualified and trained personnel.

This follows a court hearing on June 12 where two gate companies were heavily fined for health and safety breaches that resulted in the death of a child in 2010. Karolina Golabek (5) was crushed by a gate that did not meet British and European safety standards.

With encouragement from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) set up its Powered Gate Group on behalf of the UK gate automation industry following the tragedy.

Since then the DHF has played a key role in dramatically raising safety standards within the industry. It has developed the DHF Guide to Powered Gate Safety, which has been endorsed by the HSE. It has set up a stringent two-day gate safety training course which more than 120 automated gate installers have successfully completed.

And it is promoting Gate Safety Week, a week of action designed to alert the public of the need to be aware of the risks posed by poorly installed and badly maintained powered gates.

DHF Powered Gate Group chairman Neil Sampson said: 
“Our hearts go out to the families involved in this tragedy. As an industry we are determined that a tragic accident like this will never happen again.

“To that end, the DHF Powered Gate Group and its members are working towards responsible regulation of our industry that will encompass thorough training, registration of automated gate installers, and inspection of gates to ensure they meet current safety standards.

“We insist that all automated gates are installed and maintained exclusively by qualified and trained installers and engineers.”

Key facts:
•    More than two thirds of all automated gates installed in the UK do not comply with latest legislation and could pose a serious risk.

•    The DHF Powered Gate Group now has 68 members who are the leading UK and European manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered gates and gate automation equipment.

•    By the end of this year the number of installers to have successfully completed the powered gate safety diploma course will have doubled to 240.

•    Every member company called to maintain an automated gate carries out a risk assessment before work starts. If the gate poses a danger, the engineer will switch off the gate motor, issue a warning letter to the gate owner and affix a “danger” notice to the gate.

•    Following this court case, the HSE said no one should install or work on automated gates without knowing the relevant safety standards or without having the right equipment to check the gates are safe. And it called on those responsible for managing properties with automatic gates to ensure they are properly maintained by competent personnel.

•    Gate Safety Week is being held on October 13 - 19. A number of influential organisations in the safety, enforcement, inspection, education and security sectors will be lending their support to the campaign in the coming weeks.

For more information visit www.dhfpoweredgategroup.co.uk .


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