We’ve discussed in the past why self-closing safety gates are the HSE’s preferred option to chains, mainly because the chains are reliant on the user replacing them. If this isn’t done then a hazardous void is created.
However, this isn’t the only benefit self-closing safety gates have over chains.
While providing a form of protection and safe access for ladders, guardrails, roof hatches, handrails and stairways, safety chains could potentially add to the risks as they can give a false sense of security. If a chain is to be used it should ideally be constructed so that the complete structure is capable of withstanding a load applied to it. Imagine for example what might happen if someone leans on a safety chain which is being used to provide safe access as part of a roof top edge protection system. The chain could easily give way, potentially causing a serious fall risk.
Similarly if someone holds onto the chain as they ascend a ladder or access a roof via a roof hatch, the chain could break, resulting in the person falling backwards.
Below are some typical examples of where a safe form of access and egress is required to an area.
Fixed ladders in warehouses
Safe access to plant areas
Safety chains on roof hatches
Self-closing safety gates are installed in the direction of a hazard, this guarantees complete safety for the user and overcomes the potential of creating a fall hazard as the following demonstrate.
Safe access on roofs
Work platform safety
And finally, safe access to plant and machinery
Mon, 07/04/2016 – 18:55
Self-closing safety gates offer greater benefits than chains when it comes to safe access and egress
Chains used for safe access