Of the 86 inspections carried out this spring and summer, three quarters of the gates were found not to be protected against collapse of the leaves. “This is clearly not in accordance with the new version of EN 12604,” says Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson.
“According to this standard, every gate must have three hinges.” Only 9 out of the 86 gates were fitted with 3 hinges. Out of the gates with only 2 hinges, 12 had been updated with a safety cable. None of the other 63 gates had any form of fall protection.
“We looked at gates all over the country,” says Jackson, “We can therefore assume that the survey is representative for the whole of the UK. But all of the gates we looked at belonged to owners with above-average concerns for safety, otherwise they would not have got in touch with us. If we repeated the survey on all gates in the UK, the results would be significantly worse.”
As Jackson says, the results of the survey are not encouraging: “It’s really disappointing that in spite of the standard being updated 5 years ago, there are still so many gates lacking 3 hinges or without fall protection in the field. If you carry out maintenance or repairs on a swing gate, you can immediately see whether it is protected against leaf collapse. If it isn’t, all you need to do is fit a fall protection device and a major risk will be eliminated. The component for this costs some 10 pounds sterling. We would really recommend that installers get on and do this.”