Automated Gates / Electric Gates Health & Safety

electric gates health and safety

OVERVIEW

An automatic electric gate will provide you and your family a convenient and secure option to access your home. However the very nature of the automatic motor poses a small but real risk to users.

This risk becomes particularly acute when children or pets are likely to play near the gates. NH Fabrications specialise in taking every step possible to ensure that these worries are relieved and your gate is as safe as possible.

NICE gate electronics feature industry leading force restriction systems for maximum gate safety. This means should the gate come into contact with an obstacle, it will stop and reverse. This feature was developed to meet the UK safety laws attributed to automated gates.

Magic eye style safety sensors are installed to protect the space around the gate. Should something break the beam, the gate will not operate. You will be sure the open gates will never start to close on to your car.

Where additional gate safety is required we recommend sensitive edges. These soft profile edges will reverse a gate upon contact with an object and their malleable form will ensure that even the most fragile of obstructions is unharmed.

After we have installed your gate, NH Fabrications will fully test the system to ensure it meets the legislation. We will leave you with all the necessary documentation confirming that your gate is safe in the form of a handy end user manual, that you can pass on the new owners if you ever decide to sell your house.

 

Gate Safety and Risk Assessments

ELECTRICAL GATE SAFETY

INTRODUCTION

Electric gates are a popular addition to many properties, but few people realise that they are installing a piece of equipment classed as a machine. If not installed correctly by a professional the system has the potential to cause serious harm.

During the summer of 2010 two young children died after becoming trapped in powered gates. They were trapped because:

  • Their presence at the closing edge was not detected
  • The closing force of the gate when they obstructed it was too high

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued two safety notices in 2010 giving details on the risks and the protection method needed. The HSE now requires electric gate installers to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of hazards to anyone using the gates prior to design and installation, and for the design to eliminate or considerably reduce any risks identified.

The HSE also requires that persons responsible for the management and maintenance of electric gates should be provided with appropriate documentation, instructions for use and training to operate and maintain the gates safely, and recommends that regular reviews of assessments should be undertaken to ensure the gates are maintained in a safe condition.

PERSONS WITH RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GATE SAFETY

Except in a private dwelling where no staff are employed, the person in control of premises has responsibilities under health and safety legislation. The relevant legislation includes the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as well as the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. These responsibilities include ensuring that the gate is fitted with any necessary safety devices, maintaining it an efficient working order and keeping a suitable record of maintenance. Note that efficient in this context means from the point of view of health and safety (not convenience or economy).

GATE RISK ASSESSMENT

When designing, constructing, installing and/or commissioning electrically powered gates, or where managing sites where electrically powered gates exist, responsible persons, including installers, must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that they have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify any hazards and associated risks to persons using the gates.
This should include consideration of the following:

  • The identification of any trapping and/or crushing zones where employees or persons not in your employment may become trapped and injured.
  • The identification of ways in which safe operating systems may be defeated or by-passed & place employees / non-employees at risk. This is particularly relevant where children, members of the public, or persons not familiar with the safe use of any installation have access to electrically powered gates & not recognise a risk to their safety.
  • The identification of ways in which persons may be harmed by the gates should they be activated automatically, or by another person (for example, by a sensor under the road surface activating a gate when a car drives over it, or by a remote button or key fob pressed by a third person).
  • Risk assessments should be undertaken as early as possible. Undertaking a risk assessment at the design phase will allow an opportunity to design out risks at an early stage.
  • Any design changes should be subject to a revised risk assessment to ensure the changes have not introduced new hazards or risks;
    When the installation is complete, a final risk assessment should be undertaken.

You should also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that you have eliminated and/or controlled any risks identified from the risk assessment.

Wherever possible risks should be eliminated, but where they need to be controlled technology such as fixed guards, pressure sensitive strips, safety sensor flooring, light barriers or infra-red detectors may help control and/or reduce the risk, but consideration needs to be given to how a person may still be harmed if one of these systems fail.

Any component parts (such as motors and motor arms) supplied by separate manufacturers should be installed in accordance with the manufacturers guidance, and used in accordance with their instructions for use.

Where the gates are defined as a machine under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 a conformity assessment must be undertaken by a responsible person prior to their use, and a technical file compiled. Any information or instructions required on how to operate the gates should be made available to the person(s) or organisation that the gates are produced for.

Persons adopting the responsibility for the management and maintenance of the gates should be provided with the appropriate safety documentation, instructions for use, and training in how to operate and maintain the gates safely. Persons using the gates regularly should be given appropriate information, instruction and training on how to operate them safely.

NEW BUSINESS – GATE DOCUMENTATION TO BE OBTAINED AT HANDOVER

All automatic gate systems by LAW must be installed in compliance with the Machinery Directive MD2006/42/EC and supporting standards. The directive requires several key documents to be created in a technical file. Parts of this technical file should be handed over with the finished gate product. In addition the final product must also be CE marked and display a label or stamp from its manufacturer. The required documents to be obtained at handover include the following:

  • Declaration of conformity
  • Manufacturers CE marked stamp or label
  • Guide for safe use of gate (operational instructions)
  • Installation/maintenance log
  • Risk assessment
  • Force test results

MAINTENANCE AND SERVICING OF GATES

Automatic gates, properly installed, should represent good value for money and give years of trouble free use.

The installer will have left a service/maintenance log when they installed the gates. This log should be kept in a place of safe custody by the property manager. The log will tell you the frequency of maintenance however as a general rule automated gates should be maintained every six months on commercial ie. apartment blocks. or at yearly intervals for low usage gate ways ie. private residences of not more than twelve operations a day.

Servicing is a very important and integral part of any automated gate installation, by scheduling routine preventative maintenance for such installations the overall running costs can be dramatically reduced. In the event that maintenance is not carried out as laid down by the manufacturer then the gate owner could well be held responsible for any damage caused by malfunctioning (provided that the event cannot be traced to an original or installation defect).