The importance of automatic gate safety

Van driving through automatic sliding gate

If you’ve seen any of the automatic gate installations we work on – you know they’re significant pieces of machinery that should be respected as such. Made from reinforced steel, aluminium or heavy duty wood, we have installed gates up to 11m long, weighing in at just over half a tonne. When it comes to operating automatic gates, whether at your home or on business or public premises, it’s clear that safety is of the utmost importance.

Such is this importance, that there are a number of pieces of legislation and standards that govern the operation and maintenance of automatic gates. At the point of being supplied, gates are subject to the European Machinery Directive, and must meet the Directive’s Essential Health & Safety Requirements. In addition, key industry standards such as BS/EN 12453 ensure that any installation is assessed for and guarded against any risk of casualty or fatality.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case – and some organisations and their suppliers can be short sighted when it comes to ensuring they’ve met their legislative obligations and are operating machinery that is completely safe.

Recently, it was announced that Limerick City Council are to be prosecuted following the tragic death of a 53 year old employee who was crushed by an automatic gate in a machinery yard owned by the council in April 2015. They are accused of breaching the Health, Safety and Welfare Act of 2005; failing to ensure a safe means of access and egress to the machinery yard; failing to ensure the safety of the mechanical gates and failing to assess the risks associated with the operation of a powered gate.

It’s been alleged that the powered gate was unsafe as there were no sensors installed outside the gate, and that the force of the gate was not limited – which is a requirement of the Machinery Directive.

A recent survey by Gate Safe found that 90% of the automatic gates on commercial premises that were surveyed were deemed unsafe and failed to meet the agreed protocol for automatic gates.

It’s absolutely vital that businesses recognise the risk associated with automatic gates on their premises, and take the necessary steps to ensure that they are protecting first and foremost their staff, and their business, from the potential consequences of an accident.

Century Secure Group UK Ltd are proud supporters of Gate Safe, as well as members of the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) and The Automatic Door Installation Association (ADIA)  and are fully committed to ensuring that each and every automatic gate installation we do is compliant with the relevant industry standards and directives, and above all else can be safely operated. We also offer ongoing maintenance packages to our customers – ensuring that automatic gates stay safe throughout their lifetime.


If you would like more advice on ensuring your automatic gates are compliant and safe – get in touch.