Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

HSE issues safety alert for bay gates used on scaffoldings


The HSE has issued an emergency safety alert for scaffolding loading bay gates. Already a manufacturer is working on a design to incorporate the changes. Other manufacturers and suppliers should also follow through.

The HSE has issued an alert on 21st July stating that loading bay gates, which form part of the edge protection on a scaffold, are not sufficiently robust when they are extended and thus henceforth do not comply with the Work at Height Regulations.
The alert is targeted towards specific bay gates that are made up of two panelled tube and mesh with one panel fixed lengthwise and the other telescopic panel breadthwise such that it its length can be adjusted to the width of the loading bay to the extent of 2300mm to 3900mm. The inside of the panels is meshed, with the panel not having any horizontal mid rail.
As per the HSE, the mesh which covers the inside of the panel has a typically a 3mm gauge on a 50mm square pattern with each edge securely welded to the fixed length panel. So as to allow the sliding adjustment of the telescopic panel, the inside mesh on this section, should naturally be loose.
HSE has also suggested that suppliers could secure the loose mesh to the gate perimeter by cable ties, once the panel has been telescoped to a width suitable for the loading bay.
On several construction sites, HSE inspectors have found that the inside mesh is loose and gets detached when the gate is pushed open. This naturally means that it will not allow somebody to lean or stand on it, thus allowing loose materials to fall from the platform.
Also, these gates open by rotating upwards around a pivot which is fitted on a 500mm inboard mount in the gate. Because of this design the gate has very short rear levers, and essentially puts a worker at the edge of the platform with a gap beneath the gate that can only exceed 1.5 metres. 
This new HSE alerts outlines the interim actions contractors should take when they are using this type of king of gate. They have to also ensure that the in mesh panels are securely tied by stainless steel cable ties instead of plastic ones. The ties should be such that it should secure the mesh of the panel and allow options for the gate to be opened without endangering the lives of the workers. It should be such that the workers should not trip, slip or fall through the gap underneath the open gate.
The alert has also noted that a gate manufacturer is already working on a design that incorporates these changes and make the design compliant with BS EN 12811-1:2003 (Scaffolds – performance requirements and general design). Other gate manufacturers and suppliers should also follow suit.