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AESIF News - ASO Safety Conference

ASO Safety Conference - 24 June 2012

2nd Gate safety conference to educate the industry & WIFM What’s in it for me?

For those of you that are in attendance at the conference this year, simply email john on this wed page and you will receive a gate safety contractor’s logo for your vans plus you will also gain AESIF membership for the year with no cost to yourself or your company.

Now I know that the same companies will probably register that did so back in November 2010, but we feel we are supporting those companies that are interested in safety first, and that this will at the very least reward you’re efforts in what has been a very difficult year for small business.

As a member you will also be able to display your contact details in the online AESIF business directory, and place other articles of interest for our readers about your company and services.  

Please email: for your free membership invitation




So if we haven’t got time to go, what in a nutshell do I need to know?

1 Safety to prevent crushing must be provided to the gate leaf up to a height of 2.5 metres

2 Hinge point of the gate must be protected if the gap increases in width greater than 10 cm,or smaller than 2 cm to the pillar, the use of an edge is required.

3 Safety beams should cover the entrapment areas of the gate way both internal, and more importantly external to safe guard members of the public in the area of gate entrance way. This is most important on gates set to auto close.

4 Sliding gate need to be meshed, if you can place a body part  or limb in a position of crushing between the static parts and the gate leaf in movment?  You can reduce the mesh size accordingly to solve this problem.

5 Warning signs most important, we need to know that the gate is automated.

6 You will need to check for gaps which may cause entrapment to the underside of the gate and ground level in movement, more important on swing gates.

7 Probably the most important of all, the integrity of the automatic gate must be suitable for use i.e. the use of suitable components which when assembled will not lead to mechanical failures.

8 The correct use, sizeing and installation of external cabling and power supplies. 

Category 2 devises   what do’s this mean. OK in layman’s terms when we give the gate a command to start a movement, the safety circuits opens and close the switching of contacts first to safety circuits, this is to ensure the devises are working, and are connected properly to the installed system, before the start command is action, safety circuits are NOT monitored throughout the operation of the manoeuvre, however in an event of an open circuit during the manoeuvre the gate leaf will stop, reopen where it will remain until the fault is cleared.
Automatic gates only operate for a very short periods of time 20 seconds or so, so the risk to fail is very small and remember the circuit is being tested at the start of every manoeuvre of the gate leaf. So should be considered suitable for the application in use, can include radio, BLUETOOTH, infared, radar link. However the risk is grater should this category be used in application were the machinery runs for long periods of time without stopping. Category 3 should be considered.

Category 3 devises i.e.  safety  what do’s this mean. OK in layman’s terms when we give the gate a command to start a movement, the safety circuits opens and close the switching of contacts first to safety circuits, this is to ensure the devises are working, and are connected properly to the installed system, before the start command is action, safety circuits are also monitored throughout the operation of the manoeuvre.   You can now buy this equipment from a large range of manufactures and distributor’s for competitive pricing and for the different types of application.

Category 3 devises are normally associated with machinery that operates for long periods of time i.e. 24 hour production, were safety circuits to guards & doors are monitored for the safety of personnel in the day to day or shift work  operation of the machinery. All  catagory 2&3 safety circuits should fail safe to open, using 0 logic, 'negative' in principle of operation. This also helps to minimise the risk of polarisation to contacts, making switching more reliable in use. 


And the rest as they say is up to you and the design, easy isn’t it, it’s all about common-sense, safety, and reassurance for the user. Always remember a good project well installed, and the profits that you so richly deserve.


Now as most of you know, I can chat the hind leg of a donkey, so that’s about it for now. Those of you looking for the summer open & shut mag? Well just like the weather I rather thought we wouldn’t bother having one this year, so keep your chin up, it's not all doom and gloom.

Welcome back Johnny Birkett

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Hi John,

Talking about funny stories, have you heard the one about the sales guy that  goes’ to a customers house to sell a set of electric gates, and in the conversation  the lady of the house say’s “ do you have something in your range that float’s about a bit and has port holes in the side” the sales man looks puzzled? No he replies. "That’s a shame we’ve been flooded out now three times and I’m not sure the best place to put them".

All the best Mate. Gateman Rod

Good Morning John,


We went to the gates safety conference last week & would like the free stickers please?


One thing that strikes me in all the years that we have been working with gates is that the hinge design & clearances gate leaf to post/gate leaf needs careful attention but is usually ignored. Finger traps, crushing & shearing points are not designed out from the outset.


I have attached a photo of a job we lost to a well respected automatic gate firm. The main contractor told us that the gates were safe! (This is the forth job I a row that we have lost for this contractor through including safety devices – if we want work we’ll have to leave out the ‘extras’).  This development has around 300 flats for social housing so children will be running everywhere. I can see avoidable risk areas, crush against the brick gate pillars, a slam plate fitted - finger trap, shearing to road slope – closing gap.


Best Regards
Rob Simmons

Fensec Ltd

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OK I have taken some time to think about this problem, has there are increasing numbers of installers complaining about installation, standards, and practices, all the time…..

Assuming the gate complies with force testing and the results of the testing have been documented and recorded?  Then the requirement for other safety feature around the main driveway gate is reduced in risk, however the frequency of maintenance and the requirement for force testing “ in compliance” for this entrance way is greatly increased. Given the size of the complex and number of users? These costs alone will out way the initial cost of additional active safety features around the gate way.

The main gate entrance way is presumably for the transit of vehicles, and is not intended for pedestrian use? Therefore in area's used by pedestians i.e. the general public, clear warning signs are required to warn of the danger in use, to both sides of the gate. The area of entrapment to this entrance way should also be marked out in yellow strips, to indicate the direction of travel for uninformed users, has set out in H.S.E guidelines.
There is also a very good reason for this, "They are a clear visible signs to remind all parents and more importantly the children, whom have no perception has too the possible dangers associated with the automatic entrance way, in daily use".

We must all recognise the failing of the past, improve standards, educate the user, and most importantly learning from the mistakes of the past.

So remember it’s all about improving the quality of life, not wrecking it?

John Birkett   AESIF






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