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Badly designed gate fell and injured worker

A gate systems installer must pay £25,000 in penalties after the leaf (the hinged/moveable part) on one of its gates fell and struck a man, leaving him unable to work for a year.

Merthyr Tydfil-based Advanced Gate manufactured and installed a gate system for Personal Hygiene Services (PHS) in Caerphilly. It featured two leaves – the first was driven by a motor and it powered the second via a chain and sprocket.

On 30 September 2014 a PHS employee went to close the gate manually after the mechanism failed. As he pulled one of the leaves, it detached from the runners and fell on him. 

A vertical rail struck his leg, resulting in severe trauma tearing muscle and nerves. He was hospitalised for ten days and off work for 12 months. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found the 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 pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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