Safety in Numbers

 

Gate safety relies on how the individual parts are combined to cater for any issues; a vehicle’s fuel is of no use if it isn’t directed to the right components and the same applies to the workings of electric gates. Responding to interactions that may not be the ‘norm’ and coping with the elements such as wind and rain must be thought about in its design.

The design has to anticipate what could happen and cater accordingly. Think of an airbag or a seatbelt in a car, a trip switch in a fuse box or even safety goggles. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

•    Could a big gap in railings mean the potential for things to get stuck?
•    Might the gate tumble down a slope if it became loose?
•    Do hinges need gaps closed to avoid crushing?
•    Has the gate got speed control so it slows if encountering an obstruction?
•    Would sensors prevent a gate from closing on something smaller than a vehicle?
•    Are both the wiring and connections fully protected?

Suitable risk assessment needs to take place to consider potential hazards and consequences such as collision, crushing and risk of limb breakage.

Electric gates are categorised as machines so under national regulations they must meet strict health, safety and environmental requirements. The legally required directive of the CE mark must be applied along with additional specific essential health and safety requirements particular to the UK. Manufacturers must have each new gate inspected by an independent body and keep a technical file detailing construction as well as performing endurance tests and identifying which critical parts are susceptible to wear.

Established in 2010, Gate Safe was the pioneering force to first address the issue of automated gate safety. Gate Safe enjoys the support of a number of high profile industry/health & safety organisations and continues to offer independent approved training, share best practice and deliver practical guidance to improve the safety of automated gates and barriers.

A gate that is not properly installed may compromise safety so gate installation must be undertaken by qualified technicians. Like most machinery, electric gates need to be regularly inspected and maintained to stay safe. The safety of a product doesn’t just rely on its construction and design but the way it is used, and then maintained, with safety checks. Companies have been fined for not complying with the requirements stated within the Health & Safety at Work regulations.

Maintenance must be carried out at regular intervals. Component parts can wear and fail so a maintenance contract is always recommended. If parts are removed, fitted or replaced without thorough analysis, it can not only invalidate both the warranty and the CE declaration but it can be extremely dangerous to use.

When installing a gate, there are things like buildings, fencing and vegetation to consider. These can change over time so gate surroundings also need regular inspection by a qualified technician trained in risk assessment.

Safety in numbers? Gate safety relies on the correct execution of;

1.    PRODUCTION
2.    INSTALLATION
3.    MAINTENANCE
4.    ADHERING TO REGULATIONS

This ensures minimal incidents and guaranteed safety. See our webpage on Windlesham Gates safety https://www.windlesham-electric-gates.co.uk/electric-gate-safety