Risks to pedestrians from crushing zones on electrically powered gates - 2

Health and Safety Executive - Safety alert

Department Name:
Field Operations Directorate

Bulletin No:
FOD 7-2010
Issue Date:
2 September 2010

Target Audience:
Gate manufacturers and installers, construction and estates and/or facilities management companies Industries - Services, Construction, Manufacturing (general) Services

Key Issues:
Actions required to prevent the trapping and crushing of persons by electrically powered gates

What you need to know and do

These are the things you need to do if you install or modify electrically powered gates in areas that people have access to. They might also apply to you if you maintain gates.

When you have installed the gates safely - and met all of the relevant safety requirements - you should apply a CE Mark, so people can be confident the job has been done properly. You must also keep details of the installation, and of any tests, in a technical file.

More details, further references and the background to this safety alert appear below


The purpose of this Safety Notice is to reinforce and update previous information (HSE Safety Notice FOD WSW 1-2010) to organisations and individuals involved in the design, construction, installation and commissioning of electrically powered gates and organisations in control of their use and/or maintenance. It is also relevant to companies carrying out on-going maintenance of these types of gates.

It will be of particular interest to gate manufacturers, gate installers, those involved in the commissioning of electrically powered gates, organisations involved in construction projects (including the installation of gates), and persons or organisations in control of premises where persons other than their own employees may have access to such gates (such as site management and/or lettings agents).


Two recent, separate, incidents that both led to the deaths of young children have highlighted a risk of using automatic vehicle access gates. (These incidents are in addition to an earlier fatality, which also involved a young child in 2006, and other recent near misses). Whilst these recent fatalities involved automatic sliding gates, this Safety Notice applies to all powered access gates.

In both these cases, the children were trapped between the closing edge of the gate and the gate post at the end of the gates' travel. They were trapped because:


BS EN 12453:2001 recommends a minimum level of safeguarding against the crushing hazard at the closing edge of the gate depending on the type of environment in which the gate is operating. The Standard defines 3 types of use:

Type 1 - The gate is only used by trained users and there is no intended, inadvertent or unauthorised access to it by members of the public.

Type 2 - A limited group of persons (for example persons sharing a block of flats) are trained to operate the gate and the gate is located in a public area.

Type 3 - Any person is free to operate the gate and the gate is in contact with the general public.

The Standard advises on the minimum levels of safeguarding of the main edge according to its type of use. Type 1 gates are not considered further in this safety notice because they are not located in the vicinity of the general public.

In the case of those powered gates categorised as Type 2 or Type 3 and which have automatic control, the advised level of safeguarding is to:

Limit forces according to Annex A of the Standard using force limitation devices or sensitive protective equipment


Provide a means for the detection of the presence of a person or an obstacle standing on the floor at one side of the gate.

Alternatively, a means for detection of the presence a person, which is designed in a way that in no circumstances can that person be touched by the moving gate leaf, can be provided.


In a significant number of gate installations, the type of use may not have been taken into account during the design stage, with the consequence that the installations may not comply with the safeguarding measures recommended in the standard.

Those who manufacture, install, use or have control of powered gates should assess the risk to health and safety posed by the gate(s), in particular the circumstances of the installation. Certain circumstances, such as the gate being located in the vicinity of the general public, would be considered to be high risk.

BS EN 12453:2001 advises that adopting one or a combination of measures including creating safety distances, installing guards, shaping the leaf surfaces, operating the gate in hold to run, limiting the forces and installing sensitive protective equipment will achieve a safe state.

It is HSE's view that the force limitation function on its own is unlikely to be sufficiently reliable to prevent a person being trapped or crushed. In accordance with the recommendations of BS EN 12453:2001, where the force limitation technique is used in Type 2 or Type 3 installations with automatic operation, additional safeguarding techniques should be used to reduce the likelihood of hazardous situations occurring.

In some installations, single or twin photoelectric beams have been used as an additional safeguard. However, analysis of their installation and configuration has shown that these do not guarantee person detection and the prevention of crushing. Whereas photoelectric beams, when suitably installed and configured, are a possible safeguarding option, pressure sensitive strips on the closing edge of the gate are more effective when used in combination with force limitation.

An important consideration with the operation of automatic gates is the emergency arrangements to release someone should a crushing, shearing or drawing-in incident occur and the person remains trapped. Many designs of drive units require the use of a release key and lever to disconnect the drive from the gate and allow it to be moved manually. In such circumstances, access to the release key is critical to the quick release of the gate and so arrangements should be in place to ensure that release keys and release instructions are readily available to all authorised users of the gate.

Action required:

HSE published a Safety Notice (FOD WSW 1-2010) on 26 February 2010 relating to the death of a nine-year old child.

A number of actions were identified relating to the design, installation and commissioning and the management and maintenance of gates during use. These actions are still valid and can be viewed at HSE Safety Notice FOD WSW 1-2010


Further information for gate designers and installers, including procedures that need to be followed, and instructions that need to be provided can be sourced from:

Permission to reproduce extracts from British Standard BS EN 12453:2001 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, Email: [email protected].

General note:

Please pass this information to a colleague who may have this product/equipment or operate this type of system/process