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
I think personally there needs to be some kind of clampdown on gate automation kits and who can sell / buy them, not least from the point of safety – maybe only authorised manufacturer approved installers or something similar.
At the end of the day the vast majority of people are unaware of the potential dangers of incorrectly fitted gate automation and any new safety standards or legislation can only be a good thing!
I look forward to reading your live blog.
Electric gate safety says
HSE have issued a number of safety noticeson this matter which you can view at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/electricgates.htm
The purpose of this Safety Notice is to reinforce and update previous information (HSE Safety Notice FOD WSW 1-2010) to organisations and individuals involved in the design, construction, installation and commissioning of electrically powered gates and organisations in control of their use and/or maintenance. It is also relevant to companies carrying out on-going maintenance of these types of gates.
Thanks for the comment Jon,
The Summit will be covering the subject of DIY automation tomorrow, look forward to your input.
Will look forward to reading about it, not sure if I’ll be able to catch it live but will definately drop in at some point to share my thoughts!
Wrongly fitted automated gates can indeed be worse than no gates at all. Dangerous and substandard gate manufacturers should be better controlled. You would never invite an non-registered locksmith to change your locks, and never should you allow just anyone to install your gates
I have rently has my Electric gate motors installed into my gates. I am now able to open the gate from a remote control from my car which makes it so easy. The service was so quick to deliver and the installation process was quick and easy.