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AESIF News - HSE warns of dangers

HSE warns of dangers - 08 March 2016

HSE warns of dangers to children playing on power operated doors - The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today issued an information document to the owners of opening powered operated doors following a number of serious and fatal accidents to children riding on these doors.

Vertically opening powered rolling doors are found at industrial, commercial, larger residential apartments and office complexes. They are often used at the entrances to secure underground car parks and can be the first barrier to preventing people getting into the building.

Two fatalities which occurred in the UK involved the children being lifted up by the door and becoming fatally entangled. In both accidents precautions had not been taken to prevent persons being able to ride up with the doors when they opened

The most recent prosecution involved an 11 year old child, in October 2005, where the building owner pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches and was fined £50,000 with £50,000 costs.

A boy aged nine has also been horrifically killed in April 2006 becoming trapped between the automatic gate and brick peir and is still under investigation.

Phil Gifford, Principal Inspector, of the HSE’s Investigating Unit said: “This was a tragic loss of life that could have so easily been prevented. Car parks are not playgrounds and the owners of such doors should make sure all the foreseeable risks are considered in buildings where children are likely to be present.”

Editors Note:

Whilst this HSE article has been approved for display on our web site in respect for the family's and loved ones concerned, no AESIF members were involved in these incidents and Aesif's aims are that our members comply with the standards and comments as set out below.



Parts 1-4 are covered in the opening statement.

This document is intended for the people who own, operate or install such doors as part of a business.

5. Where a door could be powerful enough to lift an adult or child, this is a hazard that could lead to misuse and the type of accidents already described. Building owners or whoever is responsible for these doors should review their risk assessment to evaluate this hazard and ensure suitable measures are provided.

6. Where children are likely to have access to a powered rolling door that could lift them, then safety measures must be provided. The European Standard, BS EN 12453:2001 (reference1) recognises this hazard and recommends the following safeguarding options:

  • a. Preventing anyone from being lifted by / traveling on the door, by eliminating handholds and footrests e.g. making the bottom rail slope (not having a flat footrest), using suitably sized multiple perforations in slats for vision panels (not letterbox openings);
  • b. Limiting the force available at the door leaf;
  • c. Stopping the door movement by protective equipment (reference2) when any person is lifted and before any part of the person reaches any hazardous locations e.g. suitably installed photoelectric beams;
  • d. Installing hold to run control in combination with a key switch or similar in the vicinity and full view of the door.

7. The most appropriate safeguard or combination of safeguards should be selected where the risk exists as part of a suitable risk assessment to ensure that the powered rolling shutter door is safe. Retrofit options may be available from the door supplier, otherwise a bespoke solution will be required.


8. Some factors to consider:

  • What is the best security solution?
  • What is the most suitable type of door?
  • What is the primary function/duty of the door?
  • Where is the door is going to be installed?
  • Who is going to use the door?
  • How is the door going to be operated?
  • What is the frequency of use and speed of operation?
  • How is the safety of users to be ensured?
  • How is the safety of others who may be in the area ensured?

9. This risk is greater where the vertical opening rolling door is the external means of preventing access, for example car parks in offices and apartment type buildings.

10. The risk increases with the degree of automation of the roller shutter door. The risk is highest where an automatically controlled door is easily accessible by members of public, though any accessible powered door should be assessed.

11. Any potential risk is increased where children are likely to be present for example: within the building (residents, crèche, etc.); a building near to residential areas; on routes to school or facilities used by children; or where children are known to congregate. When considering the possible presence of children speak to persons who use the building (employees, security providers, other tenants). Other factors such as graffiti and vandalism will indicate the presence of children.

12. Before installing any new door a design risk assessment should be undertaken. This assessment should include any potential risk to members of public, in particular children.

13. All new doors or existing doors retrofitted with powered operation must be CE marked showing they comply with the Supply of Machinery Regulations 1992, as amended. Doors manufactured in accordance with BS EN 12453: 2001 are one means of achieving this. Information on recording the modification or conversion of an existing door is given in Annex C of Reference3.

14. Where doors form part of the fire control measures you should consult the local Fire Authority and Local Authority Building Control Department to the ensure that they met relevant standards.

15. Further information on specifying powered doors is freely available from the manufacturers trade association (Reference4).


16. If a door is modified or refurbished and this results in significant changes to the control or operation of the door, then the door will have to be CE marked by the person undertaking the modification or refurbishment. Information on recording of such modifications or conversions is given in Annex C of Reference3.

17. Examples of significant alterations that would require CE marking are:

  • Addition of automatic control systems
  • Addition of safety devices, eg photoelectric devices
  • Significant increases in the voltages of motors or control systems

18. Examples of non-significant alterations that would not require CE marking are:

  • Like for like replacement, eg same rating of motor
  • Fitting a plate to make the bottom rail slope
  • Replacing a door leaf

19. These are guidelines and each situation would have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Further Information

1 British Standard, BS EN 12453:2001, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates – Safety in use of power operated doors – Requirements.

2 British Standard BS EN 12978:2003, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates – Safety devices for power operated doors and gates – Requirements and test methods.

3 British Standard BS EN 12635:2002, Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates – Installation and use.

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