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Fatal incident highlights poor safety record of powered gates

29 July 2016

Following the death of a man crushed by a falling powered metal gate in County Meath, Ireland last Tuesday, the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has issued advice about checking and maintenance procedures.

Aimed at powered gate owners, installers, repairers and maintenance companies, it is calling for all gates to be checked for safe operation on a regular basis.

The federation is campaigning for higher standards of safety for automated gates and barriers.

An inspection of the gate involved in the fatal incident in Ireland is currently being conducted by the Health and Safety Authority.

The DHF statement said the incident occurred at the delivery entrance to a retail centre and the victim was found pinned to the ground under the large rolling gate.

This appeared to have fallen off its guide track and DHF training officer Nick Perkins said:

"At this stage we can't speculate on the exact cause of the incident, but the photographs taken at the scene show an upper guide roller lying on the floor next to the fallen gate.

"There appears to be no evidence of any physical travel stops for the stricken gate leaf."

Mr Perkins further stated that structural failures are "the most common cause of accidents with both manual and automated gates".

The incident provided a "stark reminder" of the importance of regular inspection and testing of powered gate installations, he said.

There are 500,000 automated gates in the UK, only 30% of which are estimated to be safe to use, said the DHF.

Its statement also quoted the figures that six adults and three children have been killed in accidents caused by badly installed and poorly maintained gates and barriers in the UK and Ireland in recent years.

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