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Automated Gate Safety

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  • Posted date:
  • 18-05-2021
Automated Gate Safety

What Are Automated Gate Safety Requirements?

If you are considering an electric gate installation, you may be wondering what are automated gate safety requirements?

 If the gate is not safe, the engineer is obliged to separate the automatic procedure of the gate. After which, they must inform the individual in charge of the gate that it is potentially unsafe. They will suggest precisely what safety requirements or alterations have to be made to bring the gate up to standards. 

The engineer must not carry out any deal with eviction unless that job leads to a secure gate instalment. Failure to undertake these activities leaves the upkeep firm liable to prosecution should a mishap subsequently occur.

Where the responsibility lies

The installer needs to guarantee the gate is safe, abide by the Machinery Directive and have been checked, and the CE marking is present. Additionally, he has to give risk-free usage and maintenance guidelines. He will provide a maintenance log and a declaration of conformity to the individual responsible for the gate.

The maintainer needs to understand that a maintained gate means risk-free. When called out to fix or service a powered gate, the service engineer should analyse the installation. 

He will recognise the safety-critical features of the gate. He must then make sure there is an upkeep programme in place. This will consider both the safety features and also the information in the technical documents.

A powered gate is a machine that presents potential dangers to children and adults alike. There continues to be an absence of recognition and understanding of powered gate security. 

There are many inadequately trained, ill-equipped and unqualified installers running illegally. This is especially true in the residential market. 

There are plenty of unsafe gates still in service today, many of which are on residential properties. If someone was to be harmed by a hazardous gate, the owners could well be held accountable.

What Are Automated Gate Safety Requirements?

A crucial element of a suitable electrical gate package is the safety of the gate. Some gates feature a set of photocells. These are light-sensing units that stop the gate closing if they sense an obstacle in the way. It is recommended to set up safety and security edges along with photocells. The security edges guard against injury. It will trigger an automatic stop when the call strip detects contact.


Gate Installers Safety Facts

Any engineer that installs a powered gate, whether they are swing gates, sliding gates, arm barriers or telescopic gates, must ensure that it conforms with Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This is an essential safety consideration that must be adhered to when constructing any form of powered gate. 

Gate Installers Safety Facts

The engineer must carry out a thorough risk assessment to ensure that the powered gate fully complies with safety standards. Through these assessments, any potential risks the powered gate might pose must be documented. This will allow the users and anyone working on it in the future to operate the powered gate safely. 

Any automatic powered gate must contain at least two forms of safety device. You should install devices such as pressure edges and light curtains to prevent potentially dangerous accidents. 

Force testing limitation is not an appropriate or effective form of safety device when safety edges are not employed. Engineers should install these safety devices on any form of gate or barrier being constructed. 

Besides risk assessments and ensuring that the gate or barrier being constructed adheres to current British standards, it is also crucial to check that the gate and its mechanical components are strong and stable when operated. 

Safety by Design and Construction

The safety of an automatic powered gate depends heavily on the various components that make them up. Whether this is the switches, sensors, safety equipment etc., they must be all functioning properly for the gate to be entirely safe. 

The safety of a powered gate is ensured through several methods:

  • The design of the gate itself may contain several features that prevent it from causing damage or harm.
  • Ensuring that the gate elements, such as tracks and mountings, can withstand the forces it produces when in operation.
  • Mounted guarding sections to prevent the inner workings or motors of the gate from causing damage through exposure.
  • Speed controls to prevent crushing hazards.
  • Limiters that prevent the gate from producing too much power.
  • Non-contact sensors that stop the powered gate from closing when obstructed. Safety beams are a more expensive but effective way to avoid gate closing than pressure-sensitive edges. 
  • How the gate operates, whether controlled or automatic. 
  • How the gate system behaves when receiving inputs from the controller. 
  • The quality of the installation process- the wiring and electronic automation of the gate should be connected correctly and can suitably withstand wear and tear. 
  • The reactions of the gate's system when its safety features are operational.
  • How the gate is looked after by the property owners and whether its safety features are properly maintained. 

Each of these methods takes place within a specific step of the design, construction and operation stages. They must all be subject to appropriate risk assessments, and any safety regulations must be adhered to so that safety can be assured. Maintenance of any powered gate is a crucial step in ensuring that it is safe to operate and safety does not solely rely on the design and construction of the gate. 

Maintaining Gates for Safety

Aside from the designing and inclusion of safety features in powered gates and barriers, maintaining these features is crucial to ensure that they are safe to use. 

Communal entrances to residential or commercial properties must adhere to health and safety laws. Ultimately, the property owner is the one responsible for the maintenance of the powered gates or barriers. 

Likewise, any engineer undertaking installation or repair work on powered gating is responsible for ensuring that it is safe to operate afterwards. If you wish to modify your automatic electronic gates, these changes must be reappraised and made safe. 

Risk Assessment, Competence and Training

While automated gates are constructed from standard regulated parts, the different environments and premises on which they can be installed means that risk assessments are always required upon installation. 

There are no clear cut safety procedures for every automatic gate, and each installation must be considered an independent enterprise requiring its own risk assessment. 

Therefore, ensuring safety is at the discretion of the installation engineer, requiring them to employ their expertise to ensure that the gate is safe to use. Several sources, such as Gate Safe or the Hardware Federation, offer health and safety information and advice regarding automatic powered gates and barriers. 

Risk Assessment, Competence and Training

Besides engineers, electricians working on gate installation will also have to lend their expertise to these safety assurances. 

Any other tradesperson involved in constructing a powered gate or barrier will also have to provide their own safety suggestions. 

Should the powered gate or barrier have force limitation devices installed, then these systems will need to be tested by the relevant specialist to ensure that they conform to safety regulations and legislation. 

British Standards for Design, Assessment and Testing

There are currently several safety standards that any powered gate or barrier must adhere to in the UK. These range from regulations of the Health and Safety Executive of England and Wales (HSE) regarding the electrical components of the gate. 

The rules govern their operation to the quality of materials used and different environments in which powered gates might be constructed. 

However, while these regulations may be met to the letter, inherent hazards remain in the operating of powered machinery.

The hinges of a powered gate are natural points where mechanical forces are the strongest. There is a significant risk of trapping here. 

While engineers may take every safety precaution to secure them, it is only through a diligent operation that the users can ensure that they are safe. 

Gaps within the gate or barrier are also a natural hazard. The gate or barrier design should help reduce the risk of trapping between the struts or bars of the gate, but this risk remains. 

Safety regulations regarding the control system of the powered gate are significantly lacking. Therefore, it is only through regular maintenance that users can ensure the safety of the control systems.