The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued new safety advice to installers, designers, and manufacturers of electric gates following the deaths of several children.
On 28 June this year, a six-year-old girl died when she was crushed by electric gates in Manchester. On 3 July, a five-year-old girl was also crushed to death by electric gates in Bridgend, South Wales.
The HSE safety alert says that limiting the closing forces of gates alone will not provide sufficient protection to meet the relevant standards, and “installers must fit additional safeguards to gates in public areas.
HSE 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."
Today's alert follows a similar notice issued in February this year reminding gate manufacturers and installers of their safety responsibilities when designing, building and installing electrically powered gates.
Police and HSE investigations continue into the deaths earlier this summer.
Ashton added: "When manufacturing, designing or installing electric gates, it's crucial to consider who will be in the area when it's operating. If general public can access the gate then additional protections should be in place.
"These protections can be in the form of creating safe distances, installing fixed guards, limiting the forces or installing sensitive protective equipment - among others."