Fencing News talks to Rob Williams, Gate Safe’s Technical and Training Advisor

Since its very first Gate SafeSummit in 2010, much has been achieved by the charity. Following the launch of the IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health, the only chartered body for health and safety professionals) approved Gate Safe training course, we
have reached a new milestone of having trained over 1,500 installers nationwide.

Gate Safe continues to workwith a number of high-profileopinion former bodies, whose support enables us to spread
our credible messaging far and wide, on how to achieve a safe automated gate (or barrier) installation. These include RoSPA, Electrical Contractor’s Association, Handsam (education compliance management specialists), SAFed (Safety Assurance Federation), IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management) and AFI (Association of Fencing Industries).

In addition, the charity offers a risk assessment service to identify any possible issues which might compromise the safety of an automated gate installation, where a gate owner or user requires a totally independent perspective these assessments are ideally conducted on site, but we also offer a desk-based audit service.

We’ve also launched a number of practical initiatives designed to help installers improve the safety of automated gates in the field. These include the Gate Safe MOT, an easily identifiable visual prompt to advise gate users that the device in use has been through the requisite safety checks or conversely is overdue a service / maintenance visit; the Gate Safe Visualiser, an interactive tool to help specify a safe automated gate installation and The Hub, a bespoke Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system designed to help businesses involved in automated gate installations work more efficiently to deliver a safe and compliant device.

What are the most common pitfalls that fencing installers fall into when installing an automated gate?

The majority of problems that we witness are in relation to swing gates, which have either been installed with too much of a gap between the leaf and the post orwith insufficient understanding ofhow the gap will reduce as the gate moves, both of which represent a major safety hazard.

Installers also need to take note of the slope into or out of site on swing gates, which can result in another reducing gap as the gate opens. This again, represents a potential drawing in / crushing risk.

We also see a number of sliding gates which are installed with either no – or the wrong – steps taken to mitigate against the risk of shearing, for example using the wrong mesh or not installing any mesh at all.

What would be your message to fencing installers?

Do the training! The courts have made it quite clear that they will come down heavily on the installer in the case of a negligent installation, with the most recent case resulting in a jail sentence. Protect your business and your reputation, by doing the Gate Safe training you also access numerousbenefits including access to atechnical help line.


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