Electrically powered gates - risks of crushing to pedestrians - 27 April 2010

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to advise duty holders of the dangers associated with the operation of electrically operated gates and the need to ensure where these are used, that they meet the required standards, have a planned preventative maintenance system and associated risk assessment.

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Electric gates


A young child was recently trapped by an electrically powered sliding gate at the entrance to premises in Northern Ireland. On this occasion the child sustained minor injuries but the consequences could easily have been much more severe or even fatal. 


Investigation of this incident revealed the absence of a planned preventative maintenance system for the gate. It was established that the electrically powered gate could continue to operate even when two of the protective safety devices were defective.

HSENI are directing that Duty holders take the following action:

  1. examine arrangements for the safe operation of electrically powered gate systems 
  2. check that your equipment meets the relevant standards, for example British Standard BS EN 12453:2001: Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates
  3. ensure that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been carried for the use of the gate system at the site location and that any actions identified therein have been progressed 
  4. ensure that a planned preventative maintenance system is in place for the maintenance upkeep of the equipment

A Safety Notice issued on 26 February 2010 by the Health and Safety Executive entitled ‘Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates’ provides detailed information on the nature of measures which should be in place. This is available at: www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/electricgates.htm

You are requested to ensure that this Safety Alert is directed towards the relevant personnel with responsibility for the safe operation and management of such systems.