Saturday 4 November 2017

dhf Warning follows Sentencing of Gate Engineer

Robert Churchyard, 52, was jailed for three and a half years on 30th October

dhf (Door & Hardware Federation) is once again highlighting the potentially legal ramifications of failing to ensure gate safety, following the sentencing of gate engineer, Robert Churchyard on Monday.

Last month, Mr Churchyard, 52, was found guilty of the manslaughter of 56-year-old Jill Lunn, who died in April 2013, following an accident involving an unsafe automated gate. 

On Monday, Mr Churchyard, who was employed at the time by Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, with the company fined £12,000 to be paid within 12 months.

This is the first time that an individual has received a custodial sentence for an accident involving an unsafe automated gate and as explained by dhf General Manager, Michael Skelding, this case has set a precedent with regards to the future of safe automated gate installation and maintenance:

“Today’s sentencing serves as a stark warning to everybody involved in the automated gate sector that they must ensure all doors and gates are checked for safety against current standards and regularly maintained by properly trained specialists. As this court case clearly demonstrates, both individuals and companies could face prosecution in the event of an accident.”

He continues: “We encourage individuals and companies involved in the installation or maintenance of automated gates, to contact us should they require guidance on their legal responsibilities. In addition, dhf provides extensive safety training for both member and non-members companies, with its technical specification, DHF TS 011:2016 (the code of practice for the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of powered gates and traffic barriers), freely available to download from the website.”

For further technical and compliance information, please visit 

Door & Hardware Federation (dhf)

01827 52337

News reports from national media can be found at and

(Image: ARCHANT\\KellyA2)

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