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GATE SAFE NEWS

Statement from Gate Safe following the Semelia Campbell court hearing

Added 7th December 2015

Over five and a half years after the tragic accident involving Semelia Campbell who was crushed to death by an automated gate, the company that pleaded guilty to the corporate manslaughter of the six-year-old school girl has today been formally sentenced.

Cheshire Gates and Automation Limited admitted a breach of duty of care after failing to ensure that the gate was safe, resulting in the young child becoming trapped between the gate and a retaining wall outside her Moss Side, Manchester home. While the £50,000 fine awarded will do little to comfort the family whose lives have been indiscriminately changed by the events of June 2010, the significant sum serves as a sharp reminder of the dim view taken by the court in relation to a failure to observe the required safety protocols for this type of installation. In addition to the fine, the company was also ordered to advertise details of the case and its ruling in the Manchester Evening News and the Stockport Express.

Commenting on the ruling, Gate Safe Founder Richard Jackson says, “This case once again proves the catastrophic effects of an unsafe - whether through ignorance or intention – gate. The fine is in line with the case in Bridgend where Karolina Golabek sadly died from an unsafe electric gate.  The other companies mentioned and involved with the specification and procurement of the electric gate were lucky not to be fined as well, as in Gate Safe’s view they are equally culpable. However, Cheshire Gates and Automation had been warned in an HSE alert in March 2010, which highlighted the dangers the gates could pose to children. The gate which killed Semelia was left in a ‘lethal state’ by Cheshire Gates and Automation and the judge said, ‘serious injury was entirely foreseeable’.

 Five and a half years on since this terrible accident, we now have over 500 Gate Safe Aware installers on our register, who have all undergone the pioneering IOSH accredited Gate Safe training to understand the steps that need to be taken to deliver a safe and legally compliant automated gate. However, with no formal requirement for an installer to take this training, and continued access to potentially dangerous DIY automation kits, we recognise that more needs to be done to prevent history repeating itself. Our latest move towards improving powered gate safety includes a national petition, which recommends that all new automated gates should be subject to planning permission and that the gate should only be installed by an appropriately trained professional. We have always believed that education is key to improving the understanding of the current safety guidance and we will of course continue to promote this but in addition, we strongly advocate this measure to discourage the activities of the ‘cowboy’ installer whose practices would simply not meet the requirements of the new planning protocol.”

Anyone who has a concern regarding a new or existing electric gate installation can speak to Gate Safe free of charge for help and advice, tel 01303 840 117.

Anyone interested in lending their support to the petition can do so by clicking on the following link: https://goo.gl/9HCfVd

The Gate Safe Visualiser can be accessed via the following link: www.visualiser.gate-safe.org.

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Address:
Gate Safe
Beverlea, Clavertye,
Elham, Canterbury
Kent. CT4 6YE

t: 01303 840 117

Gate Safe is a registered charity in England and Wales (no 1149261). Gate Safe and the Gate Safe logo are registered trade marks of GSSC Ltd.

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