Installers, designers, maintenance firms and manufacturers of electric gates, are being urged to seriously consider new safety advice issued by the Health and Safety Executive today, following the recent deaths of two children involving these gates.
The safety alert points out that limiting the closing forces of gates alone will not provide sufficient protection to meet the relevant standards, and installers must fit additional safeguards to gates in public areas.
HSE's Director of Field Operations, David Ashton, said:
"Electric or automatic gates are designed to stop if someone gets in the way, and installers and those maintaining these gates have a real duty to ensure this happens.
"They must take their responsibilities seriously to make sure that anti-crushing, shearing and trapping safety protection devices are correctly set and maintained."
Today's alert follows a similar notice issued in February this year reminding gate manufacturers and installers of their safety responsibilities when designing, building and installing electrically powered gates.
On 28 June this year, Semelia Campbell, 6, died when she was crushed by electric gates in Manchester. A few days later on 3 July, Karolina Golabek, 5, was also crushed to death by electric gates in Bridgend,South Wales.
While the police and HSE investigations continue into both deaths, HSE does want to make it clear to installers that they must take action to prevent pedestrians from becoming trapped in electric gates.
David Ashton added:
"When manufacturing, designing or installing electric gates, it's crucial to consider who will be in the area when it's operating. If general public can access the gate then additional protections should be in place.
"These protections can be in the form of creating safe distances, installing fixed guards, limiting the forces or installing sensitive protective equipment - among others."
HSE's advice today also reminds those in control of the maintenance of electric gates to regularly review their risk assessments, taking account of or any changes to the operating conditions or environment.
Notes to Editors
- The new safety alert is available online athttp://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/electricgates2.htm
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice,promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice,and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.www.hse.gov.uk
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department