Powered gates: your duties as an employer

Like people, gates come in all different shapes and sizes. Like people, gates are key to everyday life. Did you know though, that powered gates can be a real workplace health and safety hazard?

Over recent years, a number of adults and children have been seriously injured or killed by this type of machinery.

Injuries are typically caused when a person becomes trapped or crushed by the gate. For employers it is important, then, to understand your legal duties to keep your premises, staff and visitors safe.

Powered gates: your legal duties

A number of legal requirements govern powered gates, barriers and doors which are located in ‘workplaces’.

These include:

  • Design, manufacture, supply and installation under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
  • Inspection and maintenance under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • General requirements under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to risks to third parties (non-employees)

What do I have to do?

If you own commercial or industrial premises there are a number of steps you must take when it comes to powered gates.

Ensure that:

  • The powered doors and gates on your premises are safe
  • Existing powered doors and gates are designed, constructed and maintained for safety
  • You regularly inspect them to make sure they work properly and protective devices are in good order

In some cases, you may be required to employ the services of a competent contractor to help you carry out your duties properly.

Thinking about installing a new powered gate?

Okay, perhaps you’re thinking of installing a shiny new powered gate. It could be that you’re planning to ‘power-up’ an existing manually operated one.

In such instances, draft in a competent installer who knows:

  • How these machines work
  • What the safety requirements are
  • How to perform the work safely
  • What needs to be done to comply with the law

When your door has been installed, the contractor should supply you with user Instructions and details on how to maintain the gates.

If love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness then good practice is the key that opens the gates of safety on your premises.

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