Keeping Safe with Automatic Gates
Automatic metal security gates have a number of benefits for commercial premises, including offices and manufacturing sites, as well as schools and other educational facilities. They provide a simple yet effective means of controlling access to the area. However, there are also potential dangers to using them which you need to be aware of before installing them.
The Issues of Automatic Gates
Automatic gates are a convenient security measure, as they don't require anyone to be controlling the entrance and exit points at all times. However, this also means that there is no one to check how the gates are being used and ensure that nobody becomes injured by them.
Automatic metal security gates are in essence a robot, which means there are a number of regulations that apply to their usage. These include the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Supply of Machinery Regulations 2008. Failure to meet the standards set out in these regulations could mean companies face fines or imprisonment.
There is a high risk when using automatic gates if they are installed in certain areas. These include where the site has multiple occupants and children, the elderly, disabled people or pets are involved, the site provides access to the public or the gate is remotely operated.
Making Automatic Gates Safer
Automatic gates can have a number of safety features fitted to make them less of a risk. These could include force limitation. There are British and European standards as to the maximum force of automatic gates, and they should be designed to reverse if they come into contact with anything or anyone. Safety edges should also be installed to areas that could collide with an object or person.
A photocell is another safety feature that works through the use of a transmitter and receiver. These should have a continuous signal between each other, and if the signal breaks when the gate is closing, it will automatically open again.
Pressure detectors can detect the presence of a person or an object through infra-red technology. This stops the metal security gates from closing if something or someone is in the immediate vicinity.
The Safe Design of Automatic Security Gates
The way in which automatic gates are designed and installed can also enable them to be used safely without the risk of anyone becoming trapped or injuring themselves. It's important that none of the controls or machinery is in a position that puts the operator of the gates in danger. When you're considering where to position the pillars and hinges, it's important to focus on the safety angle. It's far easier and safer to control the risk of automatic gates through the initial design rather than having to add in extra safety features.
Once the automatic gates have been installed, it's still critical to regularly assess the safety elements. There could be new risks that develop or maintenance issues that arise that affect how safe the gates are.