Saturday, 26 September 2015

New HSE safety guidance on domestic powered gates welcomed by DHF

The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has welcomed new guidance to householders on the safety of powered domestic driveway gates.

The Health & Safety Executive is recommending that owners of domestic gates should have regular checks made on their gates to ensure they are safe. These checks should be carried out by competent contractors, says the HSE.

Householders are also being advised by the HSE that anyone carrying out any repairs, checks or adjustments to powered gates are subject to health and safety legislation. Legally, the contractor must ensure the gate is left in a safe condition following any maintenance or repair work that is carried out to ensure no-one is put at risk.

The DHF Powered Gate Group comprises Britain’s leading manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates and gate automation equipment. It insists that its trained installers and maintainers meet their legal obligations and do not carry out work on domestic gates if they are unable to leave the gates in a safe condition.

Michael Skelding, general manager and secretary of the DHF, said:

"We warmly welcome this clarification of the legal issues surrounding the repair and maintenance of domestic gates. Existing guidance to domestic powered gate owners could have led them to believe that it was acceptable for them to ask a maintainer to fix their gate but to refuse a safety upgrade.

"Now gate maintainers can demonstrate to the customer that leaving a gate in a dangerous state is not an option because it leaves the maintainer liable for prosecution under health and safety legislation."
The new HSE guidance on domestic powered gate safety is timely: October 12 - 18 has been declared Gate Safety Week by the DHF Powered Gate Group. Campaigners have declared a week of action in October in a bid to dramatically improve the safety of automated gates in the UK.

In recent years, three children and three adults have been killed in powered gate accidents. It is estimated there are around 225,000 automated domestic gates in service in the UK, yet the industry says just 10 per cent of these are safe to use.

The key messages of Gate Safety Week are:

  • Properly installed and maintained automated gates are perfectly safe to use;
  • It is the duty of all those responsible for automated gates - owners, maintainers, installers - to ensure gates are safe to use.
There is comprehensive guidance for security professionals, gate owners and those responsible for specifying, managing and maintaining automatic gates on the Gate Safety Week website .

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