In June 2010, the tragic deaths of two young children in separate incidents less than one week apart served to highlight the safety issues facing the UK gate automation industry. This was particularly the case since these tragedies followed so soon after the conviction of a gate manufacturer for breaches of health and safety law in relation to an earlier child fatality.
This guide is presented as a summary of the current legislation and standards which it is hoped will assist the industry in understanding the requirements and meeting its obligations. This guide does not deal in any detail with the legal duties of the owner of the gate regarding risk assessment, inspection, and maintenance.
The legal position is that powered gate systems are considered to be “machinery”. This means that, by law, every new powered gate, when it is put
into service, must comply with the European Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), especially the Directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements, be CE
marked, and accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity. The Health and Safety Executive has lead responsibility for enforcement of this legislation, which has been transposed into UK law as the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. The responsibility for complying with the law rests with the responsible person which will be either the manufacturer, supplier, or installer, depending on the circumstances.
The key to compliance with the law is risk assessment, which includes identifying the hazards, estimating the severity and likelihood of each hazard,
followed by an evaluation to determine whether each hazard is adequately controlled and, if it is not, what further action needs to be taken to control the risk; the principal aim is to secure compliance with the Machinery Directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements.