Unfortunately, both safety alerts that were released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) this month, were both as a result of deaths in tragic circumstances. Please make yourself aware of both, which are detailed and linked below.
Hazards of Electrically Powered Gates
Electrical gates may appear slow, cumbersome and innocuous but they possess a hidden danger if not treated with due care and respect. These gates represent a danger of crushing or entrapment of adults or children in your workplace or home. After a tragic accident occurred in Limerick this year, the HSA have issued the following directive.
Gates that are of high risk
- those controlled remotely from a mobile phone;
- those that are fob activated;
- where the operator has no sight of the gate opening or closing.
Possible control measures
Inherent force control (backed by the use of photo beams) can be provided by intelligent drive units that cause the gate to reverse when an obstruction is sensed.
Safe edges are sensitive rubber switching strips which, when contact is detected, send a signal to the gate controller to reverse the movement of the gate.
- Please note that both measures require verification tests.
Working platforms near/over water
The HSA have outlined four key considerations that must be taken into account when working at a height near or over water. This alert comes on the back of the death of two workers carrying out maintenance work on a bridge in Limerick recently.
- Risk assess the job, including consideration for all specific hazards such as work near water;
- Select the most suitable work equipment for the job;
- Assess the risk of a fall from height and the risk of drowning and determine the appropriate controls to be put in place to best control these risks;
- Ensure an appropriate rescue plan is in place for the work.
If you have any concerns, check with your maintenance company. Don’t forget, the HSA can be contacted if in any doubt.
If you would like some further information on any of the above, please give me a call or send me an email.
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