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Automated Gate Safety

Introduction

We have created this guide on gate automation safety to give gate installers and end users / gate owners access to a set of checklists (for quick reference) and more detailed guidance outlining best practice, HSE advice and current UK legal requirements.

In-Depth Guidance – we offer detailed advice based on each of the checklist points and explain present legal requirements and what the current law means in practical terms. We will also indicate where we think requirements are going (given that the HSE is currently challenging some of the current law as it does not reflect the latest technologies). We will also explain the retroactive requirements in current legislation and what remedial work will be required to bring your gates up to standard.

Quick Reference – Appendices at the end of this document provide quick and accessible frequently asked questions and do’s and don’ts checklists and should be treated as an aide memoire – please consult the in-depth guidance so each point is understood.




 
Powered Auotmated Gates

Overview

Powered gate systems are considered “machinery” in UK law. They are covered by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations Act 2008. This has been transposed into UK law under guidance from the HSE from European Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC).

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/mechanical/files/machinery/guide-appl-2006-42-ec-2nd-201006_en.pdf

The aim of this legislation is to protect people and keep them safe (by assessing and controlling risk and hazards presented by your automated gate). We strongly urge you to read this guidance in full to ensure you are familiar with European Machinery Directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements and know what you need to do to ensure your powered gate is safe!

Responsibilities – Manufacturers, Suppliers, Installers and Owners/Operators

The legal framework covering powered gate safety clearly defines who is responsible for the various aspects of safety. Therefore, it is very important you know what those responsibilities are and what you must do to in each case. Below are the areas of responsibility based on circumstance or condition.




 
Proteco Headquarters - Castagnito, Italy

The Manufacturer

  1. The manufacturer is responsible for compliance with EN 13241-1:2003 (the overarching standard for gate automation safety) and when placing a complete powered gate systems sold as “factory manufactured” supplied with all drives units, safety devices and controls, the manufacturer is responsible to ensure the system complies with the Machinery Directive.
  2. Conformity and applicable CE marks for all systems and devices including safety specific standards included under EN 13241-1:2003. The following safety standards may apply to systems or device manufactured:-
    1. EN 12445:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Test methods. This applies to test devices used to measure force used in the required force testing
    2. EN 12978:2003, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety devices for power operated doors and gates. Requirements and test methods. This applies to safety features and devices (control boards, photocells, safety edges, laser/radar curtains) including self-fault testing measures
    3. EN 1760-2:2001, Safety of machinery. Pressure sensitive protective devices. General principles for the design and testing of pressure sensitive edges and pressure sensitive bars. This applies to safety edges, their level of sensitivity, performance characteristics, response time and percentage of sensitive surface area
    4. EN 12635:2002, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Installation and use (harmonised). This applies to information provided by manufacturers of gate automation equipment to ensure safe installation, maintenance, operation and use of powered gates.





The Supplier

  1. Must ensure supplied equipment (drives, controls and safety devices) conform to EN 13241-1:2003 and has the appropriate CE for its intended use. This will include supplying certificates of conformity to customers.
  2. Should ensure customers are aware of the current safety requirements. This guide for example.



 
Gate Installers - Safety Information

The Installer

The bulk of safety responsibility for new powered gate installations will lie with the installer in the following circumstances:-

  • The installer manufactures the gates and drive units including controller
  • The installer manufactures the gate, but uses controllers and drive units from another manufacturer
  • The installer buys the gate, controllers and drive units from other manufacturers, and commission the final assembly.

In these circumstances the Installer will be responsible for compliance with Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations Act 2008. It is critical the installer be aware of their responsibilities as the bulk of actions needed to ensure a powered gate is safe lies with them. The following is a list of things they will need to do; as a customer / end users you should be aware of their responsibilities to ensure they provide you with the correct documentation and so you have peace-of-mind knowing your powered gate is both legal and safe. The installer is required to undertake and provide the following:-

1) Technical file

This is the collection of required documentation necessary to certify the powered gate installation is safe. This technical file must be retained for 10 years by the "responsible person" e.g. the installer responsible for the CE marking of the entire installation. The technical file will include:-

  1. Description & drawings – a description of the gate, including plans and technical drawings, electrical wiring and control diagrams and any design calculations
  2. Risk assessment – including hazard identification and protective measures undertaken to meet the Machinery Directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements
  3. Test results – including force testing results where required
  4. Any standards or technical specifications used, indicating the Essential Health and Safety Requirements covered by these standards
  5. Declaration of Conformity from suppliers of drives, controls and safety devices
  6. Installation manuals from the manufacturer/supplier for all drives, controls and safety devices
  7. Copy of operating/instructions manual and maintenance log book issued to the end user / customer
  8. Copy of the customer’s Declaration of Conformity issued to the end user / customer.
Declaration of Conformity

This document will be drawn up by the person issuing the powered gate’s CE mark (the installer) and issued to the customer / end users and is to include the following information:-

  1. Name and address of the "responsible person" issuing the CE mark
  2. Description and Identification of the machinery and devices used
  3. A sentence declaring that the machinery fulfils the provision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC). Where applicable a similar declaration for other applicable directive should also be included.
  4. Cite which harmonised standard has been used e.g. EN 13241-1:2003
  5. Cite other standards and technical specifications used
  6. Signature, date and place of declaration
  7. A copy of the declaration must be supplied to the customer to accompany the gate.
CE marking

The marking consists of the letters "CE", and these must be affixed visible, legible and indelible to the machine. The name of the responsible person (the installer/installation company) must accompany the CE mark.

Risk assessment

The risk assessment is a series of logical steps used to analyse and evaluate the risks that the powered gate machinery possesses. It should lead to a risk reduction with measures taken to eliminate hazards as far as practically possible and to reduce risk by deploying protective measures. The usual steps of a risk assessment are as follows:-

  1. Risk analysis – by looking at the gate machinery, the aspect/site/gate location and likely use and misuse of the gates it becomes possible to foresee potential risks presented by each hazard and then take steps to mitigate the risk.
    1. Determine the limits of the machinery – this step is to work out the risk envelope or boundaries of the gate machinery – looking both at the intended use and foreseeable misuse of the gate. Limits of use will include:-
      1. Operating modes – what operating modes are available
      2. Who is likely to come into contact with the gate
        1. The physical abilities of people in contact with the gate
        2. The level of knowledge / training of people in contact with the gates
      3. Space limits
        1. Range of movement of the gate
        2. Location of controls
        3. Space required for maintenance
      4. Time limits
        1. Lifetime of components
        2. Recommended service intervals
      5. Environmental limits
        1. Whether the gate is expected to work in extreme weather conditions
        2. How seasonal variations may affect devices (low winter sun on photocells)
    2. Hazard identification – this step requires the systematic identification of reasonably foreseeable hazards which could arise at any stage in the gate’s life; this includes whilst being installed, commissioned, used, maintained and dismantled. For further details of potential hazards please see below under the Standards section.
    3. Risk estimation – Each hazard will present a severity of harm it can cause and how likely it is that that harm will be caused. The likelihood of the associated risk will be modified by the exposure of people to the hazard, the probability of a hazardous event and the extent to which that harm can be mitigated or avoided.
  2. Risk evaluation – this is the process by which you work out if risk reduction is required. Once the need for risk reduction is identified and necessary measures have been taken, the process of risk analysis and evaluation should be repeated to make sure no further risk reduction is needed. In order of preference, risk reduction requires that:-
  3. The hazard has been eliminated or the risk reduced by design
  4. The risk has been reduced by the application of safeguarding measures
  5. When i) or ii) are not practicable, adequate warning of any remaining risk and instructions needed to control it has to be given to users
  6. The application of mitigation measures e.g. means by which persons may be released from the hazard quickly and safety.

 

Gate Safety Standards


Standards

The EU harmonised the standards for powered gates under the umbrella of BS EN 13241-1 to ensure manufacturers in all member states were working to the Machinery Directive’s requirements. Therefore, if a product complies with this standard there is a legal presumption that it complies with the health and safety requirements of the directive itself. This means the need for risk assessment is reduced and that they would be mainly focused on specific site conditions rather than product design. Please see section-6 below for specific key requirements of each standard with examples and diagrams.

  1. BS EN 13241-1, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Harmonised product standard. Supporting standards include:-
    1. BS EN 12453:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Requirements. This sets out the level of safety required and standard hazards, plus which approaches and safety devices are approved in various circumstances to reduce risk or remove hazards. For installers this is a critical standard as it addresses the location/site related hazards that will need to be analysed and addressed as part of the risk assessment.
    2. BS EN 12445:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Test methods. This sets out the requirements for force reduction and force limits, and the likely areas around the gate where testing will need to occur. It also prescribes what testing equipment must be used, how the testing should be done and how it should be recorded.
    3. BS EN 12978:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Requirements and test methods. This standard requires that the safety functions of the "control system" (i.e. PCB, safety edges, photocells, light sensor curtains etc) MUST be monitored to prevent undetected faults from occurring (which would make the gates unsafe). It also explains the difference between Category 2 (not self-testing) versus Category 3 (self-testing) safety devices and how they must be deployed.
    4. BS EN 1770-2:2001, Safety of machinery. Pressure sensitive devices. General principles for the design and testing of pressure sensitive edges and pressure sensitive bars. This standard defines the level of sensitivity, performance characteristics, response time and surface area which must be sensitive. It also requires that certificates for the safety edges must be made available – so for installers this means keeping these within your technical file.
    5. BS EN 12604:2000, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Mechanical Aspects. Requirements. This standard defines safety requirements relating to the mechanical aspects such as the dimension of apertures and gaps, how the gates should be hung relative to their gate posts and the ground. The requirement is for gaps less than 100mm to reduce risk wherein persons could get caught or trapped between the gate and local environment (gaps that close due to the movement of the gate).
    6. BS EN 12605:2000, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Mechanical Aspects. Test methods. This standard defines the testing methodology for compliance with BS EN 12604:2000.
    7. BS EN 12635:2002, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Installation and use (harmonised). This standard defines the information to be provided by the manufacturer for safe installation, maintenance, operation and use of powered gates.
    8. BS EN 13857:2008, Safety of machinery. Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs. This standard defines the distances required to protect arms and legs from hazard zones.

In light of 2010 fatalities from powered gates the Health and Safety Executive in the UK has challenged certain aspects of the currently published standards and it is likely that these will be revised to raise safety requirements. We would strongly urge you to ensure your powered gate installation meets the requirements of these HSE guidance notices. We have highlighted some of the key recommendations, but it is important you fully consult these safety notices:-

HSE Safety Notice FOD WSW 1-2010

http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/electricgates.htm

Key recommendations:-

  • Risk assessment - Identify trapping and or crushing zones
  • Risk assessment - Identify where safe operating systems can be by-passed or defeated e.g. push release buttons inside the property that can be activated from the outside by reaching through the gateway
  • Risk assessment – Identify ways persons could be harmed by the powered gate if a third-party or system automatically activates the gate
  • Control risk through design, and controlled technology where necessary using all available safety technology and devices
  • Effective co-operation and communication between persons/contractors engaged in work surrounding the gates
HSE Safety Notice FOD 7-2010

http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/electricgates2.htm

Key recommendations

  • Powered gates must comply with force limitation requirements of Annex A BS EN 12453:2001
  • Powered gate force tests must be conducted in accordance of the requirements in BS EN 12445:2001
  • Powered gate force tests should be re-checked periodically as part of a planned preventative maintenance programme
  • In addition to force limitation, additional safeguards, such as pressure sensitive strips on the closing edge and photoelectric sensing devices, should be fitted where the risk assessment identifies the gate as high risk, in that it is operating automatically in a public place where children and other members of the public may be present.
  • Safety measures must provide a means of detecting the presence of a person or obstacle standing on the floor at the side of the gate or a means for detection of the presence of a person which is designed in a way that in no circumstances can that person be touched by the moving gate leaf.
  • Periodic reviews of risk assessments to ensure they have identified changes to environmental or operating conditions and that appropriate steps are taken to address them.
  • Other hazards associated with opening/closing the gate should be addressed – specifically crushing, shearing, impact and draw-in hazards and citing examples of opening edge, gaps in the gate where they pass fixed structures, and at drive mechanisms – NOTE: the HSE states that force limitation on its own is unlikely to be sufficient for these hazards
  • All safety devices and features should be checked on a regular basis as part of a planned preventative maintenance programme
  • Manual Release – make sure provision has been made to keep the manual release key or lever available near the gate (a safe box usually). This is so if an accident occurs the gate can be manually released in a timely fashion. You must ensure you inform the owner/responsible person where the release key/level is kept and show them how to manually release the gate.
Standards explained

This section is designed to offer installers practical guidance and examples so a better understanding of the requirements of each standard can be reached.

BS EN 12453:2001

This standard outlines the level of safety required in different situations (as determined by the level of risk) and hazards that must be made safe. There are four levels of safety and they are determined by the conditions of use and type of control (see table below).

Level of Safety Required (Determined by the Risk)
Type of control Condition of use
Trained user, no public present Trained users, public may be present Untrained user, public may be present
Hold to run (i.e. dead mans' switch) located in sight of gate 0 1 3
Impulse (i.e. push to start/stop) located sight of gate 1 2 3
Impulse (i.e. push to start/stop) not located in sight of gate 2 3 3
Automatic 3 3 3

Key to Safety Levels

  • 0 = No additional safety required
  • 1 = Key switch or similar to prevent unauthorised use
  • 2 = EITHER force limitation OR a means of presence detection which ensures that in no circumstances can a person be touched by the gate
  • 3 = EITHER a combination of force limitation and presence detection which would detect a person or obstacle on the floor at either side of the gate OR a means of presence detection which ensures that in no circumstance can a person be touched by the gate

Each level of safety has very specific safety requirements. Most gates will likely be sited on a perimeter and will therefore be in areas where the public may be present (passers by etc), so level-3 is required unless you have a manned gate with a trained operator in sight of the gate using either a manual hold-to-run or manual impulse control.

Force limitation

The two available methods of force limitation currently available are:-

  • Protection built into the drive systems (often referred to as "anti-crush" or "obstacle detection" technologies). When these systems detect the gate has "hit" something, they stop and back off.
  • PSPE (pressure sensitive protective equipment) or "safety edges" – these are rubber deformable fenders/bumpers with an electronic pressure sensor capable of detecting even the slightest contact. When they detect a "hit" the gate will stop and back off. Because they have a deformable rubber profile, they are better suited at safeguarding persons and vehicles.

NOTE: Built-in force limitation protection when used as a stand-alone solution for crushing, shearing and draw-in hazards may not be sufficient. These systems rely on feedback force from an obstacle, and the difference between a strong breeze and a small child or dog might indistinguishable in torque resistance. Therefore, we strongly recommend that safety edges are used to ensure hazards are properly safeguarded and safety feedback is appropriately sensitive.

"It is HSE's view that the force limitation function on its own is unlikely to be sufficiently reliable to prevent a person being trapped or crushed. In accordance with the recommendations of BS EN 12453:2001, where the force limitation technique is used in Type 2 or Type 3 installations with automatic operation, additional safeguarding techniques should be used to reduce the likelihood of hazardous situations occurring." - HSE Safety Notice FOD 7-2010
Presence detection

Presence detection technologies include:-

  • ESPE (electro-sensitive protective equipment or safety photocells) these use an infrared beam of light between a transmitter unit and receiver unit to detect whether an object or person has entered their detection beam. Therefore, these systems are capable of providing linear safety thresholds which can be used to protect the hazard area with an infrared senor perimeter.
  • Curtain sensor systems (infrared or laser zone protection devices) – These use an area sensor that scans a safety zone and detects when an object or person has entered it. They will often employ state-of-the-art "time-of-flight" technologies to predict approaching objects so the gate’s movement can be halted completely before the person or object reaches it (negating run-on momentum associated with larger/heavier gates).

NOTE: The HSE recommend that even if photocells are used that safety edges should be employed on the closing edge as they offer a move assure method of ensuring a safeguard against crushing:-

"In some installations, single or twin photoelectric beams have been used as an additional safeguard. However, analysis of their installation and configuration has shown that these do not guarantee person detection and the prevention of crushing. Whereas photoelectric beams, when suitably installed and configured, are a possible safeguarding option, pressure sensitive strips on the closing edge of the gate are more effective when used in combination with force limitation." - HSE Safety Notice FOD 7-2010
Hazard Areas

The standard defines hazards areas and requirements to safeguard against these hazards. The hazard areas include:-

  • Crushing areas
  • Shearing areas
  • Draw-in areas

 

Gate Safety BS EN 12453:2001 Sliding Gate Hazard Areas

Above - BS EN 12453:2001 Sliding Gate Hazard Areas



Gate Safety BS EN 12453:2001 Swing Gate Hazard Areas

Above - BS EN 12453:2001 Swing Gate Hazard Areas

 

The following requirements and considerations will also need to be addressed:-

  • Crushing force - the standard requires that a force of no more than 400N is allowed in crushing areas before the gate must start to reverse. In areas outside of the crushing areas (when the gap exceeds 500mm) a force of up to 1400N is allowed.
  • Force reduction - the standard requires that on contact with an obstacle the exerted force must drop to under 150N with 750 milliseconds (0.75 seconds) and then the gate must back-off.
  • Back-off - The standard requires the reduced force and back-off function must work in both the opening and closing phases of gate operation (to prevent sustained crushing and suffocation).
  • Danger zone (height) – The standard requires force limitation safety measure be deployed to a height of 2.5 metres for both sliding and swing gates.

 

Gate Safety BS EN 12453:2001 Safety Edge Height Requirements

Above - BS EN 12453:2001 Force Limitation Safety Measures 2500mm Height Requirement

 

  • Danger zone (gaps) – The standard defines a gap less than 500mm between the gate and a stationary object as a danger zone, with the implication that controls must slow or decelerate the gate as they approach their closing or opening positions (and operate at a maximum of 400N).
  • Control positions – Requires that the controls (release mechanism, key switches, push buttons etc) be sited so that the operator is not in a dangerous position.
  • Overrun – gate stops or limit switches must be used to prevent the gate ever overrunning unsafely.
  • Mechanical safety – steps must be taken to ensure the gate cannot come free (off its hinges, support posts or guide track) wherein it could fall on to a person.
  • Safe distances - if safety relies on safe distances as part of the risk assessment then installation instructions/drawings shall precisely describe the method of ensuring the safety distance. Safety distance cannot be applied to the main closing edge.
  • Gate leaf design – the gate leaf must not have sharp edges, protruding elements must be avoided.
  • Guards – guards, enclosures, covers and fixed protective screens shall be designed to be resilient, so they can only be loosened using tools and so that they do not create an additional hazard. They must safeguard to a height of 2.5metres.
  • Maintenance schedule – these may not exceed 6 months between logged visits. The maintenance must be conducted by a reputable and competent company. A copy of the maintenance log shall be provided to the gate owner.
  • Safety lighting – it is recommended (not required) that safety lighting or hazard warning lights illuminate the gate during operation to allow persons in the vicinity to know the gate is about to operate.
  • Safeguards - automated gates can only start a potentially hazardous operation when all safeguards are in place and no fault has been detected on all safety devices. The gate controls must support this requirement.

BS EN 12445:2001

This sets out the requirements for force reduction and force limits, and the likely areas around the gate where testing will need to occur. It also prescribes what testing equipment must be used, how the testing should be done and how it should be recorded.

Please refer to the sliding gate and swing gate force testing location diagrams below for clarification.

Test points – these are located at:-

Horizontal:-

  • 500mm from the stop post
  • 300mm from the stop post
  • 50mm from the stop post

Vertical:-

  • 300mm from the top of the gate
  • 50mm from the bottom of the gate
  • Halfway between these two point

Test regime:-

  • Each test point must be recorded 3 times
  • An average (mean) value is then calculated from these results and submitted as a PASS or FAIL

Test device:-

  • An EN 12445 compliant force test device must be used
  • The force test device must have been calibrated in the past 12 months and a copy of the calibration certificate must be included in the technical file to support the gates CE mark

 

Gate Safety BS EN 12445:2001 Force Testing Requirements Sliding Gates

Above - BS EN 12445:2001 Force Testing Requirements Sliding Gates


Gate Safety BS EN 12445:2001 Force Testing Requirements Swing Gates

Above BS EN 12445:2001 Force Testing Requirements Swing Gates

 

BS EN 12978:2001

This standard requires that the safety functions of the "control system" (i.e. PCB, safety edges, photocells, light sensor curtains etc) MUST be monitored to prevent undetected faults from occurring (which would make the gates unsafe). It also explains the difference in between Category 2 (not self-testing) versus Category 3 (self-testing) safety devices and how they must be deployed.

  • The standard is now somewhat dated as it only specifically covers PSPE (safety edges) and ESPE (photocells); it does not cover either inherent (built-in) force limitation or programmable systems. The installer must ensure that any product used with inherent force limitation is certified under the Machinery Directive for use in this role. As stated above, we would always recommend using PSPE (safety edges) in addition to inherent force limitation as a better safeguard approach.
  • More recent equipment may be certified against BS EN ISO 13849-1:2008 rather than BS EN 954-1, but installers must ensure all components are compliant.
  • The standard requires that the safety functions of the control systems MUST be monitored to prevent undetected faults from occurring in the system resulting in unsafe operation of the gate.
  • When ESPE (photocells or light curtains) are used to provide the safety function of the automation, then category 2 of BS EN 61496-1:2004+A1:2008 Safety of machinery. Electro-sensitive protective equipment. General requirements and tests must be met.
  • Gate automation control systems that DO NOT HAVE a test function (to ensure safety devices have no errors and are working correctly), must use Category 3 or 4 rated safety devices WHICH HAVE built-in self-test functions.
  • Cable used on safety equipment used in the wiring of safety signal transmissions must be armoured.

Category 2 – not self testing and relies on an external test signal from the automation control systems (PCB control board usually). In the event of a Category-2 device failure the control system will NOT carry out any operation to move the gate (it is permissible to switch to a hold-to-run only mode which requires a human operator to manually open the gate via the likes of a push button or key switch).

Category 3 – these devices provide a self-test of the safety function permanently. In the event of a failure of the safety device, the control system will NOT carry out any operation to move the gate (it is permissible to switch to a hold-to-run only mode which requires a human operator to manually open the gate via the likes of a push button or key switch).

BS EN 1770-2:2001

This standard defines the level of sensitivity, performance characteristics, response time and surface area which must be sensitive.

  • Requires that certificates for the safety edges must be made available – so for installers this means keeping these within your technical file. NOTE: Safety devices must be tested ever 6 months as part of BS EN 12453:2001 maintenance schedule and PSPE (safety edges) must be re-tested to ensure they still operate within the parameters of BS EN 1770-2:2001 and well as other standards.

BS EN 12604:2000 & BS EN 12605:2000

This standard defines safety requirements relating to the mechanical aspects such as the dimension of apertures and gaps, how the gates should be hung relative to their gate posts and the ground.

  • Designs should eliminate gaps over 100mm in the prescribed areas
  • Hinge posts
  • Centre meeting points
  • Between the floor and gate leaf
  • Special attention should be paid to areas where the gap changes in size due to movement – for example if trapping of the leg, arm or head is possible whilst the gate is moving which will then lead to crushing/shearing or draw-in as the gap closes

 

Gate Safety BS EN 12604:2000 Gaps & Apertures

Above - BS EN 12604:2000 Permissible Gaps & Apertures

 

Advice for Installers

Existing Installations, Remedial Work and New Risk Assessments

  • Anyone who provides maintenance for gates installed before the Health & Safety Executive advisory notices were published should take steps to address the safety on these sites.
  • Take steps to bring powered gate you have installed up to current legal requirements and HSE advice
  • Contact old customers to let them know about current legislation and requirements.
  • Offer your customers risk assessments on their current installations
  • If customers decline your offer to risk assess their gate and bring it up to standard, keep a written record that the risk assessment of upgrades were refused.
  • Non-Compliant (Commercial/Industrial) - If you deem an installation to be unsafe to the general public of employees on a commercial or industrial site, the installer should ensure the gate is left in a safe condition (e.g. out of use or on a manual hold-to-run control). Contact the owner/responsible person to let them know of the danger (we recommend a telephone call with follow up email so you have a record with time/date data and matters discussed on record) and that the gate must be taken out of automatic / remote use immediately. Make sure your written advice states what the issues are (citing where/how the installation contravenes specific standards/legislation), what steps must be taken to bring the gate up to legal requirements and made safe, and that the gate should remain out of service until the requirements are met.
  • Non-Compliant (Residential) – if the gate is deemed dangerous to the public due to its design, location or condition (e.g. accessible from a public right of way or road and unsafe), then the installer should notify the owner in writing that the gate should taken out of operation. The installer should inform the owner in writing how the gate breaches safety requirements and that the gate cannot be certified for powered operation until these issues have been rectified with remedial work and it has been brought up to current safety standards.
  • Obdurate owners – if an owner /responsible person refuses to listen and indicates that they will continue to operate their unsafe gate, it might be worth mentioning that they will not only be liable for civil claims in the case of an accident, but that their failure to act can be interpreted as criminal negligence which may trigger criminal prosecution and a custodial sentence if found guilty!
  • Making a powered gate inoperative – the device may be left switched off provided that this can be done without disconnecting a cable, removing a component or exposing a live conductor. The installer should contact the owner / responsible person in writing that the equipment is unsafe and should not be used again until it has been brought in line with safety requirements.





The Owner

HSE Safety Notice OPSTD 1-2011

http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/poweredgates.htm

Key recommendations (for Landlords, Commercial owners and facilities managers of properties with powered gates):-

  • Check your gate is being maintained by a reputable company who regularly test the safety features of the gate to ensure they are working correctly
  • Ask the maintenance company to show you how to release the gate in an emergency
  • Ask the maintenance company to show you the safety features including safety edges, photocells, infrared sensor curtains/laser sensor curtains, force limitation devices, fixed guards
  • For new gate installations check that the installer can show you the safety features and emergency release and that they will CE mark the gate and issue you a Declaration of Conformity. If they are unsure about how to do this it may be reason to doubt their competence.

BS EN 12453:2001

This standard makes it clear that regular maintenance and testing is a legal requirement (and that the maximum duration between maintenance visits is 6-months:-

  • Maintenance & testing of the gates every 6 months
  • A copy log of this maintenance work must be kept
  • Any faults or issues must be made right and followed by a risk assessment to ensure all hazards have been removed or safeguarded to reduce risk.
Copy of Declaration of Conformity

You need to ensure your installer provides you with a copy of the declaration of conformity.

Copy of All Installation and Operating Manuals

You need to ensure your installer provides you with copies of all installation manuals and operating manual for the installed devices and accessories.

Manual Release

Installers should place a secure/safe box near the gate to keep release keys/levers so in case on emergency these can be found and used in a timely fashion. Ensure your installer has shown you where the storage box is located, has provided you with key/access to the box and has trained you how to use the manual gate release to disengage the motors.






Appendix A – Safety Checklist

  • Responsibility - apart from the installer who else is legally responsible for gate safety?
  • Private single dwelling home - the home owner/landlord
  • Multi-dwelling private property – the property owner/s and their agents
  • Commercial premises / public buildings – the owner and their agents (person in control of the premises)
  • Compliance – failure to comply with legal safety requirements can result in serious fines and criminal charges in the event of an accident (including custodial sentences). Additionally, injured parties will also have very strong grounds for civil proceedings against owners and installers where evidence of negligence and failure to comply with basic safety requirements are present.
  • CE Mark - make sure the powered gate system has a CE Mark from the responsible person (installer).
  • CE Mark – make sure the CE Mark appears on the machinery in a visible position and that the mark is indelible.
  • CE Mark – as well as stating that the gate conforms to EN 13241-1:2003, the CE Mark will also apply to other relevant directives (Low Voltage Directive, Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive, Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Directive). Where the manufacturer of the drive and control systems has declared conformity with these directives, the installer will usually not be required to assess these items for compliance.
  • Declaration of conformity (drives and controls) – this is the document issued by the manufacturer that their products comply with the relevant listed standards. Drives and controls MUST have the relevant standards to be used in an installation.
  • Declaration of conformity (installation) – this the commissioning document from the installer (kept in the technical file, with a copy given to the gate owner) to state that the powered gate complies with the Machinery Directive and all relevant standards.
  • Risk Assessment – this is essential and a requirement of the declaration of conformity. Without a full and complete risk assessment process the gate cannot be commissioned for use.
  • Go through each standard to identify hazards and safety requirements
  • Run through the risk assessment process until hazards have been removed or safeguarded
  • Force Testing – this is required to ensure that the gates operate within the force limitation standards. The force testing tool must be complaint with EN 12445 and have been calibrated in the last 6 months.
  • Operating manuals / instructions – ensure the owner / users of the gates have access to the operating manuals / instructions of all drive, control and safety devices. Ensure instructions for manually releasing the gates (and the release key/lever) are stored by the gate.

Appendix B – Advice to Owners

  • Ask installers for references and examples of previous installations
  • Ask to see an example risk assessment
  • Ask the installer to explain their risk assessment of your gate location
  • Ensure you receive a copy of the Declaration of Conformity
  • Ensure your gates have a CE mark applied with your installers name
  • Ensure you receive a copy of operating instructions
  • Ensure the installer shows you the modes of operation for the gate
  • Ensure the installer shows you how to manually release the gate
  • Ensure you schedule maintenance for your gate with a maximum duration of 6-months between each visit. This work must be logged and we advise you get a copy for your records.
  • If you have an older installation you believe does not comply with current safety standards then schedule an installer to conduct a risk assessment at the earliest opportunity. Your gate’s power should be disabled until your installer has carried out any necessary remedial work and is satisfied the gate is safe.
  • If your installer contacts you to inform you they believe your gate is not safe, they should give you a written explanation of the issues and cite which required standards your powered gate does not meet. Once they have done this, if it is out of the scope of the original work and standards at the time of installation, you have been formally advised, and the responsibility (and liability) to ensure the gate is brought up to current safety standards is with you.