Thursday 24 May 2018

Powered Automatic Sliding Gates Safety Requirement

Powered automatic sliding gates are available in a variety of sizes, styles and materials specifications to suit different applications. Moreover, customers have a choice of access control system and safety measures, which makes this type of gate extremely versatile for domestic, industrial and public-sector premises.

Compared with the more traditional alternative of swing gates, sliding gates require less space for opening and they can be more suitable for use with sloping entrance approaches, especially if a cantilevered style is chosen instead of the guidance track type. Sliding gates also achieve a higher level of security, can be used on very wide openings and often cost no more than swing gates.

Unfortunately, there have been a small number of accidents involving powered sliding gates, mostly resulting in injuries but there have also been fatalities. Powered sliding gates have always been required to comply with the European Machinery Directive and CE marked as such but, with no 'CE Police' to monitor the market, the Directive's requirements have not been enforced. In the past, therefore, some powered sliding gates have been installed without the necessary safeguards in place. However, the current Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) is more explicit about the duties of national governments regarding enforcement.

Here in the UK, Statutory Instrument 2008/1597 The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 came into force on 29 December 2009 to implement the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The 2008 Regulations replaced The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992, as well as the 1994 and 2005 amendments.

Newly installed powered gates (sliding and swing) fall within the scope of the Machinery Directive and must therefore be CE marked as machinery. Strictly speaking, suppliers in the UK must comply with the requirements of The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, though these essentially restate the requirements contained in the Machinery Directive. There are European standards that are harmonised to the Machinery Directive; while compliance with these is not mandatory, to do so would normally be considered to be the best way to demonstrate compliance with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements of the Machinery Directive (the harmonised standards are said to provide a 'presumption of conformity'). 

To fully understand the requirements, please read the extended article “Powered Automatic Sliding Gates Safety Requirement” available at this short link - .

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