Gate Automation Safety – Crush Zones

An important part of designing an Automatic Gate System is the consideration of Gate Safety.

Electric Gates are a popular addition to many properties, but few people realise that they are installing a piece of equipment classed as a machine. If not installed correctly by a professional the system has the potential to cause serious harm.

During the summer of 2010 two young children died after becoming trapped in powered gates. They were trapped because;

• Their presence at the closing edge was not detected; and
• The closing force of the gate when they obstructed it was too high.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued two safety notices in 2010 giving details on the risks and the protection method needed. The HSE now requires Electric Gate installers to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of hazards to anyone using the gates prior to design and installation, and for the design to eliminate or considerably reduce any risks identified.

The HSE also requires that persons responsible for the management and maintenance of Electric Gates should be provided with appropriate documentation, instructions for use and training to operate and maintain the gates safely, and recommends that regular reviews of assessments should be undertaken to ensure the gates are maintained in a safe condition.

The Crush Zones for an example double swing gate system are identified in the diagram below.

Gate Safety - Gate Crush Zones
Products such as Gate Safety Edging & Safety Photocells can be used to protect the zones identified.

HSE link to Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates

Further information from HSE on Gate Safety