The Safe Operation Of Roller Doors in the Workplace

With most businesses holding thousands of pounds of stock and equipment inside their premises it is essential that any entrances and exits are well secured against intruder penetration, stock loss and pilferage. As such visit any commercial premises around the country and you will no doubt come across a roller door in some form or another.

However judging by the condition of many of these shutters (some are obviously dangerous or defective) it is pretty much guaranteed that they have not been serviced or inspected in many years and as a result will not only be difficult to operate but will also pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the building occupants and customers.

In fact when you consider that failure to carry out regular inspections and maintenance will leave employers liable in the case of an accident or injury occurring you may well want to read on as we take a closer look at roller shutter doors from a commercial perspective and examine the legal requirements that such types of security product must meet in order to comply with the most recent  legislation.

The Major Problem

According to research carried out by the Door Hardware Federation the main cause of accidents in the work place (in relation to roller doors) comes about as a result of the moving curtain coming into direct contact with a person in a uncontrolled manner which then results in crush injuries. Additionally most of these accidents could have been prevented had the roller doors being fitted with a proper safety device that would have sensed the obstruction and stopped the doors downward movement.

The Legislation

Despite the fact that most business owners are unaware that specific legislation currently exists there is in fact a whole host of standards in place to ensure that roller doors are properly fitted, operated and maintained.

The Supply of Machinery Regulations 1992

This legislation is specifically aimed at covers electric roller doors and shutters and is in place due to the fact that one they have been fitted with a motor the law states they are now classed as a “machine” and as such must meet the required standards as set out in this document.

In order to achieve the required standard all newly manufactured roller doors must be constructed to meet BSEN 12453:2001. In essence this piece of legislation is basically stating that unless the operation of the door is done on a hold to run basis (where a clear line of site exists) a safety device must be fitted that covers the whole area of the doors movement.

It is therefore advisable that if you ever encounter a defective door within the workplace that you should report it immediately.

The Solution

The easiest and most effective way of meeting this safety standard is to specify the door be fitted with a safety edge sensor fitted to the leading edge of the curtain. It basically works as a pressure sensor that will stop the movement of the motor in the event an object is detected.

Whilst this system does cost more than a hold to run design it is an essential requirement (not a luxury) and should never be overlooked due to cost saving reasons.

How to Maintain  Compliance

It is strongly advised that any business owner takes out a maintenance contract with a specialist roller shutter service company. Costing very little the company will inspect the shutters, make the required repairs and more importantly provide you with the paperwork to state that in the event of an accident occurring every possible precaution was taken to prevent it happening in the first place.