With gate power, comes gate responsibility
Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates – 2 Health and Safety Executive – Safety Notice Department Name: Field Operations Directorate Bulletin No: FOD 7-2010 Issue Date: 2 September 2010 Target Audience: Gate manufacturers and installers, construction and estates and/or facilities management companies Industries – Services, Construction, Manufacturing (general) Services Key Issues: Actions required to prevent the trapping and crushing of persons by electrically powered gates
BS EN 12453:2001 recommends a minimum level of safeguarding against the crushing hazard at the closing edge of the gate depending on the type of environment in which the gate is operating. The Standard defines 3 types of use:
Type 1 – The gate is only used by trained users and there is no intended, inadvertent or unauthorised access to it by members of the public.
Type 2 – A limited group of persons (for example persons sharing a block of flats) are trained to operate the gate and the gate is located in a public area.
Type 3 – Any person is free to operate the gate and the gate is in contact with the general public.
The Standard advises on the minimum levels of safeguarding of the main edge according to its type of use. Type 1 gates are not considered further in this safety notice because they are not located in the vicinity of the general public.
In the case of those powered gates categorised as Type 2 or Type 3 and which have automatic control, the advised level of safeguarding is to:
Limit forces according to Annex A of the Standard using force limitation devices or sensitive protective equipment
Provide a means for the detection of the presence of a person or an obstacle standing on the floor at one side of the gate.
Alternatively, a means for detection of the presence a person, which is designed in a way that in no circumstances can that person be touched by the moving gate leaf, can be provided.
All designers and installers of electrically powered gates should ensure that the forces generated by a gate when meeting a person or an obstacle are limited and that they do not exceed the values specified in Annex A of BS EN 12453:2001.
These forces should be measured in accordance with BS EN 12445:2001. “Industrial commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Test methods” and the performance of the system validated before the gate is put into use.
Forces should be periodically re-measured and checked as part of the planned preventative maintenance schedule for the gates.
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. Persons or organisations in control of powered gates should periodically review their risk assessments to ensure that they identify any changes to the environment or operating conditions and that they have taken appropriate steps to address them. This is particularly important when the responsibility for management of the gate passes from one person or organisation to another.
Other hazards associated with the opening and closing of the gate should also be addressed – these will include crushing, shearing, impact and drawing-in hazards. Examples of other hazard points are described in BS EN 12453: 2001 and include: the opening edge; gaps in the gate where they pass fixed structures; and at the drive mechanism. (Note: force limitation on its own is also unlikely to be sufficient for these hazards).
All safety devices and features should be checked on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure they continue to function as designed to ensure that safety is maintained. This should be specified in a planned preventative maintenance schedule agreed by persons responsible for the gate’s management and their appointed maintenance company.