When we install a gate and add automation to it, in the eyes of the law we have created a machine. As such it is required to comply with the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC safety standards, in particular EN 12635. The Directive has been transposed into UK Law as the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 which is under the aegis of the Health & Safety Executive.
What this means is that every new automatic gate installation must be subjected to risk assessment of injury and appropriate safety measures built in. It must be CE marked and have a Declaration of Conformity before being commissioned.
What about existing gates that are being fitted for the first time with automation? Our approach is that the Directive applies and we will fit safety measures. Where we encounter automated gates that do not have the necessary safety measures, we will bring the risks to the attention of the owner with a recommendation that safety measures be added.
More information can be found here:
The Risks and Remedies
Where two leaves of an electric gate come together, or where a single leaf gate closes to a post, fingers or limbs may be trapped and could suffer serious damage.
Remedy: some gate closers have sensitivity settings, but we add a safety edge that causes the motor to reverse Immediately the edge senses an obstruction. It is common practice for automation kits to be supplied with a pair of photocells that create an invisible beam between that will cause the motors to reverse if it is broken by a person or a vehicle. We also fit a second set inside the automatic gates to give protection on people or vehciles leving the premises.
When a gate opens the configuration of the hinges may mean that the gap between the gate anf the post reduces, presenting a risk to fingers.
We would fit a gap protector to prevent the possibility of fingers being in the pinch point.
Sliding gates involve the automatic gate sliding past one or more fixed posts, and in the case of railing gates sliding past fence railing, every gap in the railing becomes a sheer hazard which could cause loss of limbs if someone for whatever reason decided to put their arm through the bars while the electric gate was moving.
Block the gaps with mesh or fancy metalwork panels, and in any case add safety edges and photocells to reverse the direction of travel if an obstruction is encountered.