Legal requirements for automatic gates and barriers

The below is a short list of documentation that is legally required when purchasing, owning or maintaining an automatic gate or barrier for a commercial or public property or site.

  • The barrier or gate should be supplied with an O&M manual (Usually a ring bound file containing all of the below documentation)
  • A user instruction manual
  • An electrical test certificate is required
  • A maintenance log should be kept on site
  • The gate or barrier should be properly maintained and serviced as specified by the manufacturer, (which is usually every 6 months) by a competent installer (a service contract is needed to ensure the customer is not responsible for the maintenance – this puts the responsibility for the safety back on to the company)
  • A force test is required
  • A Risk assessment is required (for the gate safety)
  • CE marking is required with a unique serial or identification number
  • A Declaration of conformity is needed to show compliance
  • A certificate of compliance is required

If your gate or barrier does not have all of the above, it is quite likely not legal and doesn’t meet current regulations. All products supplied by Harling Security meet these requirements.

Minimum requirements for safety devices on automatic gates

Swing Gates

  • Touch sensitive or resistive safety edges (ideally category 3 edges). On a double gate, typically it should have 4-6 safety edges
  • Two pairs of photocell safety beams (one set between the gate posts and one set covering the extent of the gate swing (usually mounted on steel posts).
  • Finger guards to the hinges
  • Safe design hinges
  • Three hinges, or two hinges and a safety harness is recommended.
  • Built in obstacle detection to the motor is recommended.
  • Signage

Bi-folding Gates

  • Touch sensitive or resistive safety edges (ideally category 3 edges). On a double gate, typically it should have 4-6 safety edges
  • One pair of photocell safety beams
  • Safe design hinges or pivots
  • Three hinges, or two hinges and a safety harness is recommended (or suitable pivots).
  • Built in obstacle detection to the motor is recommended.
  • Signage

Sliding Gates

  • Touch sensitive or resistive edges (ideally category 3 edges). On a single gate, typically it should have 3-8 safety edges (depending on wether a safety cage is installed)
  • Two pairs of photocell safety beams
  • Safety mesh where applicable
  • Built in obstacle detection to the motor is recommended.
  • Signage

New automatic gate safety guidance

When specifying an automated gate or traffic barrier it is important to make sure that the product you receive is both safe and compliant with the applicable legislation.  The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations also referred to as the Machinery Directive require that the provider must make sure that the system is safe, taking into account the current state of the art safety technologies, accompanied with instructions for use and maintenance, a Declaration of Conformity and be CE marked.

The term “state of the art” as required by the Machinery Directive means that the manufacturer of the system must achieve and, in some cases (where standards are proved to be deficient), exceed the levels of safety set out in current product specific standards.  These standards come from a package of European standards that have been in place since 2001 although, since then, some have been deemed insufficient.

Maintenance regulations

Once a system is installed it becomes the owner, manager or landlord’s responsibility under various pieces of health and safety legislation to ensure that their system is regularly maintained to keep it safe. This responsibility can be passed on to a gate maintenance company, by taking out a service contract.

Existing gate safety upgrades

Existing systems that do not match current safety standards must be upgraded to protect the interests of the owner, manager or landlord and the safety of users and the public. Safety in use is defined as taking “reasonable and practicable” steps; in practice this will mean achieving the state of the art safety technologies (state of the art safety technologies, means that all current and accepted safety devices are being used and that the gate or barrier is in line with current regulations). From time to time, there may be updates to regulations that may mean existing systems need updating to be brought in line with the changes.

Why use an accredited installer?

DHF members have been through a rigorous training program that teaches all the legislative and standards-related information to protect both your legal interests and the safety of those who may encounter your gates. DHF members that are properly trained, have a DHF diploma in gate safety. Using a DHF member usually also means that your installation is of higher quality.

DHF and gate safe are two of the most recognised gate safety training bodies. This training should also be carried out in addition to the automation manufacturers training.

Accredited installers and companies should keep up to date with any changes in regulations and therefore keep your equipment up to date and safe.
If your gate were to cause injury you could be held liable.

Harling Security’s certifications and accreditations

  • DHF trained and approved members
  • Gate safe premier trained and approved installers
  • CHAS certified
  • CSCS trained and certified
  • Constructionline certified
  • Safe contractor certified
  • CQMS certified

download pdfThe DHF Code of Practice contains all the legislative standards and documentary guidance necessary for both providers and users alike in a free to download pdf document, available by clicking this link.

Useful links

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