How do I determine if I have an unsafe gate?

With two charities actively campaigning for an improved understanding of the importance of automated gate safety, there is definitely a heightened awareness of the potential dangers associated with an unsafe electric gate.

On a positive note, there are now more suitably trained installers in the field who have taken specialist training, which equips them with the appropriate knowledge to undertake a safe and compliant installation. But what of the installers that are either installing or maintaining electric gates without the relevant training? Even more worrying, what about all the gates that were not only installed many years ago but which have not undergone the recommended six monthly maintenance checks?

Whether you are a commercial or domestic automated gate owner / user, who can you turn to for an unbiased and totally independent assessment of a gate, to determine whether or not the installation is safe?

What is required is someone who is 100% impartial, for whom any audit findings have no bearing on potential financial reward. The person undertaking the assessment must have a competent and thorough understanding of the required protocol to deliver a safe gate. The assessor must also be capable of interpreting additional information, which might influence an otherwise compliant installation. Finally, the person / body who generates a verdict on the safety of the automated gate, must represent a credible and informed commentator on automated gate safety.

Gate Safe which, runs the IOSH accredited Gate Safe Aware training course, fulfils all of the above criteria. The charity has been undertaking audits since its inception in 2010 for a range of clients ranging from individual homeowners to housing associations.

A Gate Safe representative can visit site to view the gate in its physical setting and identify any factors that may influence the overall safety of the installation. A detailed written assessment report is presented to the client, which clearly outlines any areas for concern, in line with current accepted best practice.

Sadly, the number of requests for audits is always heightened when news of the two court cases surrounding Semelia Campbell and Karolina Golabek (who died in separate automated gate accidents in 2010) hits the headlines. But in what other walk of life would you happily continue using a potentially lethal machine if you weren’t 100% convinced that it had been deemed safe?

An audit could save a life. It could also save a reputation. A small price to pay …