Electric gate firm fined after boy fatally crushed

An electric gate company has been fined after a six-year-old boy was fatally crushed whilst playing on a sliding gate installed by the company.

Leeds Crown Court was told how, on 31 October 2015, the boy was playing with friends on the gate of an underground car park on Leylands Road, Leeds, pushing it open and closed. The gate was pushed beyond the retaining mechanism as no end stop had been fitted to the gate track. The gate fell over, trapping and fatally crushing the child.

Investigating, the HSE found the company that had manufactured and installed the electric gate failed to install an end stop. No-one else involved in commissioning or maintaining the gate over the next six years noticed and rectified the deficiency.

Bradfabs Ltd of Planetrees Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £30,000,with full costs of £12,411.46.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Julian Franklin commented:

“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, which could have been prevented by a thorough commissioning check before handing the gate over to the building occupier.”

Quantum’s Advice

This unfortunate accident proves the importance of engaging competent specialists to undertake comprehensive risk assessments on automatic and manually operated gates and to ensure they are routinely serviced and maintained by competent contractors.