Unqualified installers who apply automation kits to motorise manual gates face a real risk of prosecution under health and safety legislation.
The warning comes from The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) which represents leading UK manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates and equipment.
An unsafe installation also leaves the homeowner or commercial building manager/owner at risk of prosecution if an accident occurs involving a gate that has been automated incorrectly, according to Andy Holz, chairman of the Powered Gate Group of the DHF.
“Gate automation kits are readily available online. But it is not the kit itself that makes the installation safe. To ensure safety and legal compliance, it is the installer that must follow strict procedures,” said Holz.
“Anyone buying an automation kit from a DHF Powered Gate Group member is taken first through a lengthy consultation process. This ensures the buyer is aware of his legal obligations and that the person who will be carrying out the installation will be capable of installing the kit in a compliant and safe manner.
All DHF members who operate under the DHF Safety Assured scheme always recommend that a qualified installer should carry out the work.”
He pointed out that in order for the motorised gate to meet legislation, the installer must provide essential legal and safety documentation. This should include user operating instructions, risk assessment, declaration of conformity and force test results to demonstrate that the impact force of the gate is not excessive.
In addition, the installer must apply a CE mark to the powered gate. This is legally required to conform with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
Added Holz: “Clearly an unqualified installer or even an electrician who does not specialise in powered gate safety, is not in a position to supply all these essential items. So he is leaving himself and the homeowner or building occupier wide open to the risk of being legally culpable should a tragic accident occur. “
All members operate within the strict DHF Safety Assured scheme and adhere to the stringent standards set out in the DHF Guide to Powered Gate Safety.
For more information on the Powered Gate Group of the DHF, and to access a list of DHF member companies, visit www.dhfonline.org.uk/powered-gates-group.aspx