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January 17, 2011

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Efforts to improve automated-gate safety get underway

The first meeting has taken place of the group set up to look into the safety of electric gates, following the deaths of two children in separate incidents last year.

The primary aim of the Gate Safe Steering Group, which will meet quarterly from now on, is to prevent any further incidents similar to those in which a six-year-old girl from Manchester and a five-year-old from Bridgend were crushed to death by electric sliding gates (click here to find out more).

The group comprises members from a range of stakeholder organisations, including the HSE and IOSH, and is implementing an awareness and training programme aimed at all those involved with automated gates: designers, specifiers, manufacturers, constructors and installers. In the longer term, an education programme will also be rolled out for the general public, and especially parents, on the rudimentary requirements for automated gate safety.

At the meeting in London earlier this month the HSE congratulated the members of the Gate Safe Steering Group on their efforts to date and agreed that the issue of automated gate safety is a complex matter, which requires the collective force of an industry-wide group of representatives to take the lead in initiating change.

The group agreed at the meeting that existing standards in the area of gate safety do fall short and are not properly understood, so a strategy will be devised to address this. It will also work with the insurance industry in a bid to put in place measures to police existing gates and those fitted retrospectively to the current regulations

The group’s chair, Richard Jackson, commented: “We are feeling very positive and motivated following our first round-table discussion on how to move this important issue forward. Having the Health & Safety Executive at the meeting was extremely beneficial, and, in particular, it was gratifying to note that our efforts to date have been acknowledged as the right strategy to encourage an industry-wide, more informed and safety-aware approach to gate automation.”

Full details of the Gate Safe campaign can be found at

Pictured left to right are: Richard Jackson (Jacksons Fencing) and John Lacey (IOSH)

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