More than 200 of the UK’s top security installers were briefed on the biggest development in powered gate safety at a major conference held in Birmingham.
The Installer Summit was held by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UKAS-accredited certification and inspection body which audits security and fire safety providers. The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF), whose Powered Gate Group represents Britain’s leading manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates and gate automation equipment, presented and exhibited at the Summit as guests of NSI.
A thought-provoking presentation and workshop at the Summit delivered by the DHF informed the installers that since 2005 there have been seven deaths in the UK and Ireland, at least nine serious injuries and countless near misses caused by dangerous powered gates. It was estimated that only 30% of the 500,000 automated gates in service in the UK are safe to use.
The event cemented relationships between the two organisations ahead of the launch of a new NSI approval scheme for installers and maintainers of powered gates, barriers and gate automation equipment. Delegates at the Summit heard how the two organisations, led by DHF training officer Nick Perkins and NSI technical officer Mark Gallagher, have spent two years developing the DHF Code of Practice for the Design, Manufacture, Installation and Maintenance of Powered Gates (TS 011).
The new Code, upon which the NSI approval scheme will be based, covers installers’ responsibilities for gate design, new installations, risk assessment and commissioning. It details their responsibilities for the maintenance and modification of existing gates and covers risk assessment, safe isolation and documentation.
The NSI “Gates” Scheme will be based on the new Code which is designed to raise standards of powered gate safety to new levels. NSI Gates will be available on two levels: “Gates Gold” for companies that have an ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) and want to be approved to the Code, and “Gates Silver” for those that do not have QMS but want approval to the Code on its own.
NSI will audit organisations seeking approval against the Code to verify compliance, and this will initially be offered to DHF members and NSI approved companies, delegates heard.
At the conference, DHF Powered Gate Group chairman Neil Sampson told delegates: “Properly installed and maintained automated gates are perfectly safe to use. Our industry will not tolerate unsafe automated gate installations being carried out by unskilled installers, or gates that are dangerous due to lack of testing and maintenance.”
Delegates learned it was the legal duty of building owners and landlords – as well as gate installers, maintainers and repairers – to ensure the safe operation of automatic gates.
“The new DHF code of practice and the NSI approval scheme will help us achieve our joint aim of confining powered gate accidents to the history books,” said Neil Sampson.
Richard Jenkins, NSI Chief Executive commented: “We were delighted to invite the DHF to the NSI Installer Summit: there is great synergy between our organisations in raising standards of safety and security for people and property.
“The new NSI “Gates” scheme will significantly contribute to public safety, endorse the high competence of specialist businesses in the sector, and give facilities managers and specifiers confidence in the safety of powered gate installations.”
For further information about DHF or the NSI visit www.dhfonline.org.uk or www.nsi.org.uk .