Electronic Operated Gates

Electronic Operated Gates

Estate Compliance Management - Electronic Operated Gates

In June 2010 the tragic deaths of 2 young children in separate incidents less than 1 week apart only served to highlight the safety issues facing the UK gate automation industry and all those connected directly or indirectly. All automatic gate systems by LAW must be installed in compliance with the Machinery Directive MD2006/42/EC and supporting standards as highlighted by recent safety advisories from the Health & Safety Executive. When a new gate is installed it’s important to check that the gate is supplied with the appropriate declaration of conformity, CE mark and technical documentation required to full-fill the machinery directive requirements. CE marking is a declaration by a manufacturer that the product bearing the mark complies with relevant European directives.

The HSE will be primarily responsible for any investigations carried out on gates where incidents have occurred and can prosecute installers or manufacturers accordingly. All Manufacturers and installers of automatic gate systems should take all necessary steps to meet compliance with the Machinery Directive to ensure their completed products are safe. However, the person responsible does not stop with the installers or manufacturers. It’s important the person responsible for managing a gate understands fully their obligations.

So what does the person responsible for any automated gate need to do?

Apart from ensuring any new gates comply with the Machinery Directive, there is added pressure on ensuring the gates comply with the Health & Safety Executive safety advisories.

Step 1. Ensure you have a competent maintenance provider. We recommend someone affiliated with Gate Safe or The Perimeter Security Suppliers Association (PSSA).

Step 2. The Health & Safety Executive requires the person responsible to understand the operating functions of the gate. You are required to carry out a risk assessment to show that you have either: - Identified the risks associated with the particular gate being installed and have demonstrated where and how you have applied appropriate protection under the relevant requirements of the harmonised product standard (BS-EN13241-1). Part of this will be to carry out a force test to ensure that the gate is safe and without risks to others. If the gate is unsafe, the person responsible should take steps to make it safe – for example, by engaging a competent person to install safety mechanisms or protective devices. You must ensure that you obtain following a risk assessment a certificate of compliance or take the necessary steps to implement changes if required. 

Step 3. Regularly document services, call outs & visit logs to demonstrate proactive management.  All safety devices and features should be checked on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure they continue to function as designed to ensure safety is maintained. This should be specified in a planned preventative maintenance schedule agreed by persons responsible for the gate’s management and their appointed maintenance company.

In terms of the law. Powered (automatic) gates (barriers and doors) located in ‘workplaces’ are subject to a number of specific legal requirements. These will include requirements for:design, manufacture, supply and installation under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008; and inspection and maintenance under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. There will also be general requirements under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to risks to third parties (non-employees).Powered (automatic) gates for use on private domestic premises must comply with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 when first installed.

Is a residential block a workplace? Yes. Without doubt. 

You might be surprised to know that gate safety effects everyone. Known cases of serious injury involve a boy who trapped his head in a vehicle gate who was awarded 50,000 euros or a firm who was fined after a child was trapped in an electrical gate in a Bournemouth school.


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