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GATE MANUFACTURER FINED OVER FALLING ‘LEAF’

Powered gate failed and workman injured when closing manually

A company which manufactures and installs gate systems has been fined after a ‘leaf’ of the gate fell and struck a man.

Newport Magistrates heard how Advanced Gate Limited of Merthyr Tydfil were contracted to manufacture and install a gate system at PHS Limited in Caerphilly.

The gate consisted of two leaves; one driven by a motor and connected to the second leaf by a chain and sprocket which provided the drive motion for the second leaf.

There was a failure of the gate mechanism and on 30 September 2014 an employee of PHS Limited went to manually close the gate. The leaf he was pulling came out of the runners and “collapsed” on him.

A vertical rail struck his leg and resulted in severe trauma to his leg with muscle and nerves torn away. He was hospitalised for ten days and off work for one year.

Inadequate design, assessment and control measures

HSE investigators found that the underlying failure of the gate mechanism was a result of inadequate design, assessment and control measures to ensure the gate was safe for use.

Advanced Gate Limited, of Brecon Road, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

HSE inspector Dean Baker said after the hearing:

“Powered gates pose a risk to employees and members of the public. Those responsible for installing, maintaining and operating these gates need to make sure they are safe during installation and use.

This accident could have been avoided if the clearly foreseeable risk of the gate falling had been identified and controlled.”

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