Gate Safety - Can you afford to take the risk
17/10/16 20:04 Filed in: Blog
Since 2006 there have been 25 significant accidents / fatalities recorded involving large (generally) automated gates. These fall into two categories, the accident or worse either occurred because the automatic gate had not been installed with the relevant safety features, or, as a result of a mechanical failure, usually involving the gate actually falling on top of the victim.
To date, we have seen fines being handed down by the courts ranging from £50,000 to a massive £500,000, which was issued just last week following the tragic death of Mr Ronald Hayward, who died after becoming trapped under heavy metal gates at a delivery depot in Newport, Wales. The company responsible for the gates, AF Blakemore and Son Ltd face the half a million pound fine, along with court costs amounting to £108,62.80 after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
According to the HSE, everyone involved in the installation and maintenance of an automated gate has a duty to ensure its safety, from the architect that specified the construction, to the electrician that powered the gate and everyone in between including the homeowner, NO-ONE escapes the scrutiny of the UK’s judicial system. But while there is a definite need to focus on the correct installation of gates, more attention should be paid to acknowledging the fact that without regular maintenance what was once a ‘safe’ installation can very quickly evolve into a dangerous machine capable of inflicting serious injury - or far worse …
Clearly the risks of paying a high financial price for failure to ensure the safety of a gate are high. But let’s not forget the other long term implications of being held responsible for an accident or fatality involving a gate, automated or otherwise. Loss of reputation can result in the demise of a business. Living with the knowledge that your actions have directly led to the death of a loved one can cause long term depression and even an inability to work. Dealing with the public’s reaction to the crime that you have committed can ultimately lead to becoming an outcast in your local community.
Is it really worth taking the risk? Check out the guides that feature on Gate Safe’s website to seek out essential advice on how to ensure a safe gate. Only use the services of a suitably qualified installer who has undergone the appropriate training to deliver a safe and compliant gate – check out Gate Safe’s national register of approved installers, http://gate-safe.org/find-installers. If you are a professional involved in the installation or maintenance of gates, a half day’s Gate Safe Aware training costs in the region of £200. Surely this is a small price to pay when you consider the consequences of being implicated in an accident?