Automated Gates: Be aware of the risks they pose

Ecl-ips recommends the use of Gatesafe accredited installers

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Having a reliable access control system across your site could also mean having one associated with automated gates at the entrance. Ecl-ips provides access control systems for automated gates.

However, we are aware that automated gates can become a safety hazard which is why we support the work of Gate Safe. This charity was set up in 2010 following the tragic deaths of two children crushed by automated gates in separate accidents. The charity’s aim is to put a stop to any further accidents or fatalities occurring as a result of an unsafe electric gate or barrier installation.

GateSafe Approved Installers undertake annual training

Gate Safe provides a list of Gate Safe Approved Installers all of whom are required to re-subscribe on an annual basis – ensuring they are kept fully up to date with technology and safety developments. To be an accredited installer staff need to have undertaken a Gate Safe Aware training course and the charity encourages all professionals working in the sector to attend the course.

According to the charity anyone involved in the installation of a powered gate (whether it is a swing or sliding gate, a rising arm barrier, a bi folding or telescopic sliding gate) must ensure it complies with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. In order to achieve compliance, the gate should have undergone a full risk assessment. Gate Safe also advises that photocells or light curtains and pressure edges should be installed on every gate or barrier and would never support the idea that force limitation is an acceptable form of safety when not relying on safety edges.

Growth of automated gate market creates risk from online sellers

Despite the charity’s awareness campaign there is still work to be done as the market for automated gates grows. Gate Safe founder and chairman, Richard Jackson, posted a Linkedin article last year condemning the sale of gate automation kits by online retail sellers, including the market dominant Amazon and eBay.

He stated that, “Most of the kits sold do not come with the necessary components to ensure a safe operation and the get out of jail card for the sellers is normally in the small print saying that they should only be fitted by trained personnel! If that is the case, then why sell them to Joe Public in the first place?”

As a Gate Safe supporter we would always recommend that you choose an accredited installer for supply and installation and that once installed you ensure continuing good maintenance of your gates. If you need access control advice for your gates please contact us.