Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) is urging caution with regards to gate and barrier safety, following the death of Thomas Manns, an employee of Weston’s Cider who lost his life due to a barrier crash. The accident happened at the Much Marcle Factory, near Ledbury, on 28th September 2020 on Mr Manns’ 65th birthday. Mr Manns was driving a van for H Weston and Sons Limited, the manufacturer of Henry Weston’s Cider, when he was killed by the end of a security barrier.
Following an investigation, conducted by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that H Weston and Sons had installed the barrier a month earlier, and failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. In addition, the company failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the barrier could be secured safely when open and closed. The company was fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay £26,756.50 in costs at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 30 November 2023.
Following this tragic incident, DHF is compelled to remind duty holders of their responsibilities with regards to gate and barrier safety.
“As required in The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, it is imperative that duty holders carry out and document formal risk assessments. The Workplace Regulations 1992, identify traffic routes and doors and gates as requiring specific attention,” explains DHF’s Senior Training & Compliance Officer, Steve Hill. “HSE provides clear guidance on duty holders’ responsibilities, emphasising that horizontally moving barriers must be adequately secured at all times. While not directly linked to powered barriers, we are stressing the vital importance of securing manual gates in either the open or closed position. This is also relevant to powered hinged gates, especially when left in manual mode.”
The Tamworth-based trade association has long advocated for a comprehensive and thorough approach to gate and barrier safety. Regardless of whether the installation involves a powered or manual gate, the federation strongly recommends engaging specialists who are trained to install compliant products and conduct thorough risk assessments, and who can provide advice on regular maintenance procedures, as well as user training.
“When installing any type of vehicle barrier or gate, it is crucial to involve specialists who have received proper training to assess the risks associated with the installation. This includes providing expert advice on maintenance procedures and user training,” concludes Steve. “As we reflect on this terrible outcome, DHF remains committed to promoting safety standards within the industry and offering training to help reduce accidents such as this.”
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