Last updated: 08.10.11

Training through e-learning 'could provide life-saving safety advice'

Manufacturers of electric gates could use e-learning to improve health and safety standards after it was reported that two children died as a result of dangerous gate fittings.

Installers, designers and maintenance firms, as well as the manufacturers have been urged to seriously consider new safety advice issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The guidance as well as further tips on health and safety may be found on online learning sites which are easy to use and allow users to learn on the go.

HSE's director of field operations, David Ashton said: "Electric or automatic gates are designed to stop if someone gets in the way and installers and those maintaining these gates have a real duty to ensure this happens.

"They must take their responsibilities seriously to make sure that anti-crushing, shearing and trapping safety protection devices are correctly set and maintained."

He added that the safety of children and other people who may pass through the gates in employment offices or in homes should be paramount and a real focus for those involved in the fitting and maintenance of the gates.

Advice released by the HSE today (October 7th) aims to remind those in control of the maintenance of electric gates to regularly review their risk assessments, taking account of any changes to the operating conditions or environment.

Mr Ashton commented: "These protections can be in the form of creating safe distances, installing fixed guards, limiting the forces or installing sensitive protective equipment - among others."

The report on the safety of electrical gates is the second this year as warnings were given in February after previous accidents had been reported.

Two children have died this year due to the malfunction of the safety feature on the gates. Six-year-old Semelia Campbell, six, died on June 28th 2011 when she was crushed by gates in Manchester. Just days later, Karolina Golabek, five, was also crushed to death in Bridgend, south Wales.

When fitters have installed the gates safely a CE Mark should be applied so people can be confident the job has been done properly, according to the HSE.