Safety Gates

Safety Gates

Sometimes good sense isn’t that common.

This is particularly true when it comes to safety gates at the top of access ladders.  Contractors in developing regions often have a view that labor is so inexpensive, that making things is cheaper than buying items, especially if sourcing from outside the country.

Unfortunately, this ‘handmade’ product is just not of a suitable quality and the hardware provided for spring closures is equally bad.  Keep in mind while viewing the photos, that companies make excellent bolt on plastic arms that last a very long time, work without fail, and are easy to install.

The importance of these items cannot be overstated and where they are absent or not working, an operator can be subjected to a nasty fall that could easily be fatal.  OSHA is clear that this is not a small matter, thus the CFR 1910.23 standards that govern installation and use of such devices.

While seemingly minor, for owners that are in the process of developing specifications to attach EPC contracts, it is suggested that you pick a nice quality swing gate and allow the contractor to submit an “or approved equal”.  At least this way, you can leverage getting a proper swing gate installed with minimal fuss.

On another note, it is important owner’s teams pay attention to these details and get the problems resolved prior to running units during commissioning.

During our assessments, we see plants that have a very high percentage of inoperable or missing gates.  For something this easy, it should not be a challenge to resolve the matter as the plant is being built.

Contractor Savings

None.  Probably cost more to fabricate a gate.

Repair Costs

This issue is not about cost but prevention of injury and fatalities.  Both can have a high financial and moral cost.

Supporting Images: 

Broken gate; impedes walkway also.

Broken Gate; horrible design.

Broken Gate.

Missing Gate.

Missing gate.

Gate missing.

Won't close.