By Matt Butterworth, CCI Safety and Risk Consultant

Businesses are being urged to ensure their security doors and access gates are included in their inspection programs after a recent incident involving a metal sliding gate falling caused serious crush injuries to a worker in Perth.

Similar incidents both in Perth and interstate over recent years have resulted lower leg fractures, spinal injuries and even deaths to workers.

A recent Worksafe alert described the incident where a gate that was positioned in front of a roller door moved too far and travelled beyond the guides, allowing it to fall onto a worker and cause serious pelvic and leg fractures.

The 5.4m by 1.7m high gate was so heavy that the injured worker’s colleague was unable to lift it.

The investigation by Worksafe is still ongoing but possible contributing factors to incidents of this type include gates not having an end stop to prevent the gate moving too far; no maintenance program on the gate, guides or end stop; no inspection or reporting process for the gate.

Employers and persons having control of the workplace must ensure there are appropriate risk management strategies associated with large heavy gates to minimise the risk of such event occurring.

These include:

  • Check gates installed at the workplace to ensure that end stops and appropriate guides are fitted and are in good working order.
  • Include gates, security doors and the like in any inspection process for signs of damage.
  • When an incident results in damage to a gate or when it is identified that a gate is not working correctly, the gate should be immediately tagged-out and the employer, property owner and/or property manager notified.
  • Any damaged or defective gates should be immediately assessed and repaired by a competent person.
  • Until such repairs are completed, measures must be implemented to keep people away from a damaged gate (for example temporary barricades, exclusion zones, warning signs).

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