Due to the growing concern among business owners we at Electro felt that a quick guide on what to look for if you're installing or upgrading your gates is may help clarify the situation.
This article covers:
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires every employer and self-employed person to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the design, provision and maintenance of safe means of access to and from a place of work. The same Act also requires the design, provision and maintenance of machinery that is safe and without risk to health. The control of hazards from powered gates needs to be addressed in any risk assessments and safety statements prepared under sections 19 and 20 of this Act.
A powered gate at a place of work is considered to be work equipment to which the provisions of Part 2, Chapter 2 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007) (as amended) apply.
A powered gate is considered to be “machinery” under the European Communities (Machinery) Regulations 2008 [S.I. No. 407 of 2008] (the Machinery Regulations 2008). This places a duty on the manufacturer of a powered gate to ensure that before placing the product on the market or putting it into use at any place, that it satisfies the essential health and safety requirements and other related requirements laid down in the Regulations. These Regulations give effect in Irish law to European Machinery Directive [2006/42/EC] (The Machinery Directive). The implications of these Regulations are discussed further in Section 5.
Other pieces of legislation that are relevant to the design and manufacture of powered gates include the European Construction Products Regulations the Low-Voltage Directive, the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive and the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive.
It should also be noted that since the 1st October 2012 the provision of access control is subject to licensing arrangements administered by the Private Security Authority.
To ensure you meet all the standards, you need to use a reputable gate safety certified company when considering gate upgrades, or when checking the current status of your gate. Ensure they carry out a risk assessment before any work is conducted, a risk assessment allows the Automation Engineer to assess the potential risks associated with your particular gate based on location, usage, external forces and security. Conducting this assessment first allows the company to give an accurate estimate on costs and also ensures that you are meeting the standards above ensuring all potential risks have bee appropriately addressed.
If you want to add any access control based software to commercial gates you should check that your supplier is registered with the Private Security Authority.
You need to make every effort to protect the safety of those that will come into contact with the gate. The best way to do this is to employ a company that is DHF(Door Hardware Federation) certified to conduct any risk assessments on current gates or to speak with the architect during the design, as if the gate is designed without safety in mind it may ruin the aesthetic appeal once all safety apparatus has been added.
When was the last time your gate has been risk assessed? If your answer is never or your gate is over 2 years old then there is a high possibility that you are at risk of causing injury and as such are responsible for any injuries that occur. For example a recent court case awarded €50,000 to an injury victim who got trapped in a gate that was not up to regulation, see the article here.
Gate safety on commercial properties is ultimately down to the property owner. There is a provision that states the facility management company or installer has to leave the gate in a fit state for use but it is upto the owner to ensure that they have done all in their power to make the gate safe. i.e. have a risk assessment conducted and follow the recommendations. It is also worth noting that all commercial gates require a maintenace contract by law and need to be serviced in line with manufacturer guidelines.
The Health and Safety Authority have recently released the full Guidelines on the Safety of Powered Gates. Please click here to download.
If you would like more information on gate safety or to schedule a risk assessment with one of our team please get in touch.