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Industrial safety gates: which is best for you?

1 August 2019

Points of access to raised surfaces are one of the most dangerous areas in industrial buildings such as warehouses, logistics centres and factories.

Though you might have hand railing or guardrailing installed at edges that pose a fall risk to workers and visitors on your site, it is usually impossible to fully protect these areas without blocking points of access and egress.

Steps, ladders or loading areas will often need to remain unobstructed by railing systems, meaning a dangerous void can be created, rendering the surrounding system useless.

Though sliding rails and chains are a common fix to the problem of voids, these are not a particularly safe or efficient solution, as they rely on the user replacing them once through the gap. More dangerously, they can even provide a false sense of security, which could lead to someone leaning on them or holding onto them and breaking them.

The best solution to this problem comes in the form of self closing safety gates. These gates are spring loaded to shut behind the user once they are through the gap, removing the risk posed by negligence or forgetfulness.

However, there are various safety gate systems for different scenarios, so which one is best for you?

 

Stairs

Stairs are the most common cause of voids in railing systems or at edges, often founded in warehouses and loading bays, where raised areas will need to be accessed on a regular basis.

The best solution in this scenario would be a single or double width gate depending on the width of the void itself. The Kee Gate self closing safety gate is of a modular design, meaning it can be fitted as part of a wider system or retrofitted to an existing handrail solution, and parts can be easily replaced if necessary.

Kee Gate can be powder coated to any RAL colour, is compliant to international standards such as EN ISO 14122 Part 3, and can be cut to size to suit any space, making it a safe and effective solution to voids created by stairs, and many other situations.

 

Loading and unloading

Mezzanine floors and raised areas are a great way of maximising space in logistics centres and warehouses, allowing for effective storage above the main floor, where pallets can be lifted up via forklift.

However, the fall risk created by these areas cannot be protected with a barrier without blocking access for loading and unloading. The solution here comes in the form of pallet gates.

Pallet gates are built from the same modular fittings as the standard Kee Gate, and are designed so that the void created by loading and unloading is always protected. When one side of the gate is opened, the opposite side is closed automatically, meaning the risk of a fall over the edge is removed.

Compliant to EN 14122-3, pallet gates are as effective a solution as a full barrier system.

 

Access from ladders

Voids created by ladders can often be even more dangerous than those created by stairs, as the fall, should it occur, will be abrupt and vertical. Fixed ladders themselves will often feature metal hoops or a lifeline system, but these solutions do not consider the risk created by moving to and from the ladder at the top.

If this is a scenario you recognise from your own site or premises, then you might consider our full height gates for ladders.

Full height gates are fully compliant to EN 4211: Specification for Permanently Fixed Ladders, which requires gates on ladders to provide the same protection as EN14122 guardrails. Each gate is supplied 1.1m high and are entirely width adjustable to suit openings up to 1m.

As with standard Kee Gates, the gates are modular and can be retrofitted to your existing guardrail, and feature reversible hinges to be used in either left or right position. The spring loaded design ensures it closes safely behind the user each time.

Though quick fixes such as sliding bars and chains might be appealing, self closing gates are a far more effective, and safe, solution to the risk posed by access and egress points, and might save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

For more information about any of our gate solutions, call our product experts on 0208 874 6566, or use our online contact form.