Powered gate safety
Nov 28, 2012
In June 2010, the tragic deaths of two young children in separate incidents less than one week apart served to highlight the safety issues facing the UK gate automation industry. This was particularly the case since these tragedies followed so soon after the conviction of a gate manufacturer for breaches of health and safety law in relation to an earlier child fatality.
The Door and hardware federation has produced Guidance for the powered gate industry on current legislation and standards from the Door & Hardware Federation and endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive. You can view the guidance here.
Key Points from the guide:
• The legal position is that powered gate systems are considered to be “machinery”. This means that, by law, every new powered gate, when it is put into service, must comply with the European Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC)
• The key to compliance with the law is risk assessment, which includes identifying the hazards, estimating the severity and likelihood of each hazard, followed by an evaluation to determine whether each hazard is adequately controlled and, if it is not, what further action needs to be taken to control the risk; the principal aim is to secure compliance with the Machinery Directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements.
• CE marking consists of the letters “CE”, affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the machine. This must be accompanied by the name of the responsible person (generally the installation company in the case of gates). CE marking is a legal requirement.
The Machinery Directive requires several key documents to be created in a “technical file”. This file must be retained by the responsible person (i.e. the individual or organisation responsible for CE marking) for at least ten years. Where the file is being created by the installer, the documentation would include the following:-
• A description of the gate, including technical drawings, electrical/control schematics, and design calculations
• Risk assessments – including hazards identified and protective measures implemented to secure compliance with the applicable Essential Health and Safety Requirements
• Test results - including force testing results where applicable
• Any standards or technical specifications used, indicating the Essential Health and Safety Requirements covered by these standards
• Declarations of Incorporation or Conformity from suppliers of drives, controls and safety devices
• Installation instructions provided by suppliers of drives, controls and safety devices
• A copy of the operating instructions and maintenance log book issued to the customer
• A copy of the Declaration of Conformity issued to the customer