Gate Safety – Who’s Responsible?
These types of blogs are always a hard read, all about legislation and guidance, harder still for the casual observer that may only have one gate. Nevertheless, it is undeniably important to understand the detail if you have powered gates, it really does save lives in understanding the responsibilities!
As a business we need to live and breathe this information, not only that, our whole company is set up and trained in how to deliver this guidance and legislation. As you will read in the following, anyone working on this equipment has a burdening responsibility to keep people safe!
Education is key! Not only do we spend our time educating our team, but our clients too. In the following, I have also included the responsibilities of the Landlord or Managing Agent as well.
We strive to be our message, and will continue to provide a FREE Risk Assessment to determine the wellness of any powered gate, keeping people safe!
HSE Quote “If competent contractors advise that the equipment is unsafe prompt action should be taken to ensure the safety of everyone”.
The HSE provides some good insight when it comes to powered gates (Roller Shutters, Automated Gates). I’ve taken some pertinent text from the HSE website further down the page, plus a link for those needing more information.
Roller Shutters and Automated Gate safety looks at the way the individual component parts create an installed product, and how these parts work together in their designated function – Risk Assessment. In addition, how over time what action is taken to maintain the integrity of those components and the safety they provide when in use, under various circumstances
It is essential that at all times shutters and gate must respond in a safe way when being used. The design must account for “foreseeable interactions” going beyond normal use, for example, children playing with them, also normal wear and tear, as well as adverse environmental influences, especially wind and rain, snow and debris that can impact on function.
Those assessing, inspecting, checking, maintaining and repairing powered gates as part of a work activity have duties for safety under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work, etc Act 1974. Essentially they should not put others (including the public) at risk. For example, following any maintenance or repair work the gate must be left safe.
Anyone working on powered gates should be competent (e.g. have appropriate mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic knowledge, together with the ability where necessary to verify and test both parts and the final product). Specialist equipment may be needed, e.g. to test force limitation values.
Records of servicing, repair, and testing may help to demonstrate what has been done and how the gate is being left safe. They could also be useful as a benchmark for subsequent safety checks. Ideally, access to exact settings (eg force limitation) should be kept secure from interference, and the user/occupier being made aware of the significance of these settings for safety. Users/owners should be made aware of the need for periodic checks to ensure safety (although there is no requirement for checks or maintenance of domestic private gates under health and safety law, they are recommended for safety).
Significant modifications to an existing powered gate may result in the gate having to be re-CE marked as the powered gate is in effect a ‘new’ machine. The same may also apply where CE marked gate kits are modified on installation, or installed, in ways not intended by the kit manufacturer. In these cases, the person making the changes will be deemed to be the manufacturer (‘Responsible Person’). However, simple servicing and straightforward parts replacement will not require re-CE marking.
Landlords, or those responsible for powered gates as part of work activity (e.g. Managing Agents), have duties under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 for the safety of people (including the public) they do not employ.
They are expected to maintain similar standards of safety for construction, inspection and maintenance as employers have under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.