A firm in Wiltshire has been ordered to pay a total of £10,000 after a young primary school pupil got caught in an electric gate it had fitted.
A three-year-old boy, who is not named for legal reasons, was playing near the gate on January 6, 2010 when it shut and pushed him up against the gate post.
The gate was forced open by people nearby. They pulled the child free before he was seriously injured.
Swindon Magistrates’ Court was told on Monday that Camera Security Services Ltd installed an automatic closing device on the gate at Heathlands School in West Howe, Bournemouth. It did not, however, install sensor safety devices which would have prevented the gate from shutting when someone was near it.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident. It discovered the equipment fitted by the firm was not in line with safety standards and that its assessment did not highlight likely risks. The fact the gate was at the entry point to the school raised the level of risk.
The company, of Glenmore Business Centre, Waller Road, Devizes, admitted to breaching Regulation 11 of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992. It was fined £3,000 with an extra £7,000 payable in costs.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an incident like this and suffered an injury, then you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. Accident Advice Helpline would be happy to help you.
Warning for suppliers and installers
HSE inspector Stephan Axt-Simmonds found the incident was “easily preventable” and could have had “tragic consequences”. He warned suppliers and installers of gate automation equipment to remember they are creating a machine, urging them to conduct appropriate checks to make sure it does not put people in danger.
“In bringing this prosecution, HSE has taken into account that the director of Camera Security Services Ltd passed away in 2012 and the company is now run by a completely different team of people. Nevertheless, the company is still legally responsible for the supply and installation of this machinery,” said Mr Axt-Simmonds.
“I would encourage all suppliers and installers of electric gates to take a look at the free guidance available on the Door and Hardware Federation website which has been endorsed by HSE.”
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