Friday, 18 July 2014

Gate safety campaigners welcome HSE safety advice following gate accident

As Gate Safety Week approaches, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has renewed its call for suppliers and installers of powered gates to follow vital safety guidance.

The HSE made the comment after a company pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations at a court case in Dudley. The court heard how an eight-year-old boy was injured when his head became trapped by an entrance gate at a primary school.

HSE inspector Sarah Palfreyman said: 
“People getting trapped is a well-known risk in the industry and HSE has produced safety notes on the subject due to a number of fatalities involving children in recent years. I would encourage all suppliers and installers of electric gates to read the notes.”

Gate Safety Week (October 13 - 19 has been organised by the UK powered gate industry to raise awareness of the dangers posed by automated gates that do not meet current safety legislation.

The Door & Hardware Federation Powered Gate Group and a number of influential organisations in the safety, enforcement, inspection, education and security sectors are behind Gate Safety Week. In the weeks running up to the event, DHF Powered Gate Group members and supporters will be campaigning hard to alert the public of the risks associated with unsafe automated gates and giving vital guidance on safe installation.

Said DHF Powered Gate Group chairman Neil Sampson: 
“Gate Safety Week is all about making as many people as possible aware of the dangers posed by a poorly installed or maintained powered gate. As an industry we are determined to minimise the risk of further tragic accidents happening.

“More than two thirds of all automated gates installed in the UK do not comply with current legislation and could pose a serious safety risk. Equally worrying is the fact that unsafe installations are still being carried out by unqualified installers and gate companies who are quite willing to take dangerous short cuts in installation.

“So our message in the run up to Gate Safety Week is clear - have existing powered gates checked to ensure they conform with current safety legislation, and insist that new gates are installed and maintained by qualified and trained installers and engineers.”

Visit to find out more about gate safety and how to pledge support for the campaign.

Background information on the court case and some key facts on Gate Safety Week and powered gate safety can be found below:

About the court case:

On July 10, Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how an eight-year-old boy was injured when his head became trapped between the edge of a closing gate and the gate post at Pedmore Primary School.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the accident, which happened in September 2012, found the entrance gate had been automated by Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd but the company had failed to fit suitable guarding.

Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd, of Boston Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 18 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was fined £3,300 with £773 costs.

HSE guidance on the installation of electrically powered gates and the risks to pedestrians highlighted following the court case is available at .

Key facts about Gate Safety Week and powered gate safety:

• Gate Safety Week has been organised by the DHF Powered Gate Group which comprises the UK’s leading manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates and gate automation equipment.

• Seminars, workshops and other gate safety-related activities will take place at Fencex, the fencing industry exhibition being held at Stoneleigh Exhibition Park, near Coventry, on Wednesday, October 15 as the centrepiece of Gate Safety Week.

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

• The DHF Powered Gate Group runs stringent two-day gate safety training courses which more than 120 automated gate installers have successfully completed. 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.

• The DHF Guide to Powered Gate Safety, which has been endorsed by the HSE, can be downloaded from .

• Every DHF Powered Gate Group member called to maintain an automated gate carries out a risk assessment before work starts. If the gate poses a danger, and the person responsible for the gate refuses to have remedial work undertaken, the engineer will switch off the system, issue a warning letter to the gate owner and affix a “danger” notice to the gate.

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