As an employer, you have responsibilities under health and safety legislation, including ensuring that gates are maintained in efficient working order by a competent person and keeping records of such maintenance. You should only use a reputable company that regularly tests the safety features of the gates to ensure they are set and working correctly.
6 Tips for Ensuring Your Gates are Installed and Maintained Safely
- Arrange for a gate ‘MOT’ to be carried out, which should include a documented risk assessment force test, as specified within BS EN 12445. The risk assessment must be performed by the gate installer as proof of compliance when carrying out servicing, maintaining or repair.
- Have your gates force tested annually. If the gates are unsafe, take steps to make them safe by installing safety devices or protective mechanisms. As an interim measure, the gates must be deactivated by isolating the power. If you are concerned about security, you should only permit the gates to be used under strict supervision.
- Ensure the gates are inspected at least every 6 months to ensure they work properly and that the protective mechanisms are effective, e.g. the automation system, earth connection, operating/stop devices, photocells, other safety devices, control panel settings and manual release operation.
- Following inspection, the risk assessment should be reviewed and amended, if necessary.
- By law, the gate installer must provide you with information on how to maintain the gates, this includes use of the manual release key.
- The Machinery Directive requires you to keep several key documents in a technical file, including: risk assessment, declaration of conformity, force testing results, declarations of incorporation (conformity) from the drive unit and safety device manufacturers, guide for the safe use of the gate, details of the location of emergency devices and installation/maintenance log.
The message is simple – no one should install or work on powered gates without knowing the relevant legal standards. Employ the services of a company that can prove its ability to do the work safely.