The Gate Safe Campaign was set up after automated gates in separate incidents in England killed two children in the Summer of 2010. Since then there have been a further three near misses. Jacksons Fencing (a client of mine) carried out a survey of automated gates last spring, which found that 88% of automated gates surveyed, failed to meet current Health and Safety guidelines. It is only a matter of time before there is another fatality.
The problem with automated gate safety is that once a motor is applied to a gate it becomes a machine, and so much more dangerous. Machines are covered my more complex regulation not often encountered in much of the construction industry. As a result there is a gap in awareness of how dangerous automated gates can be, and how easy it is to install a dangerous gate, or adapt an existing gate and inadvertently turn it into a killer.
The Gate Safe Campaign has three objectives:
- To encourage government to raise automated gate safety up the political agenda;
- To drive awareness of the need to ensure automated gates are installed with the correct and appropriate safety measures; and
- To support a technical working party to find a way of achieving full compliance with current safety regulations and guidelines amongst all professionals associated with automated gates, including specifier, manufacturer and installer.
The Campaign has had some successes. Its steering group includes representatives from IOSH, HSE, Allianz and the Door and Hardware Federation. The group produced a set of physical guidelines last year, and next week will be holding a second Summit at the RIBA in London to widen awareness of the need for automated gate safety.
I shall be Live Blogging the Gate Safe Summit on Wednesday 8th February from 10am, and if you can’t make it to the RIBA I encourage you to drop in online and find out more about what to do if you become involved in automating a gate or adapting an existing one.
What you can do now
Visit the live blog page here; you can set up a reminder to email you when the event is about to start. After the Summit you’ll also be replay the discussion and guidance on automated gate safety by visiting the live blog page and clicking on ‘Replay’.
If you are active on twitter you can discuss automated gate safety by using the #GateSafe hashtag.
Conversations using the hashtag can be visualized and replayed here.
Jacksons Fencing have produced an automated Gate Safety CPD seminar for Architects, and a training package for companies looking to comply with Gate Safe practice. You can also check the Gate Safe Physical guidelines and Gate Safe Simple Checks from the Gate Safe website here, and make sure that your automated gate won’t kill a child.
RIBA Journal Article: Falling Through the Cracks