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Navigating the Risks: Understanding the Dangers of Roller Shutters and Industrial Doors

26th March 2024

Navigating the Risks: Understanding the Dangers of Roller Shutters and Industrial Doors

Roller shutters and industrial doors are integral components of building security and logistics. However, without proper maintenance and safety protocols, they can present significant hazards. This blog delves into the dangers associated with these installations, provides background on notable incidents, outlines the reasons behind these events, and suggests prevention strategies.

Case Studies: When Safety Measures Fail

Event 1: The Warehouse Accident

In a recent event at a distribution center, a large industrial door fell unexpectedly during peak hours, causing severe injuries to a staff member. Investigation revealed that the door's maintenance was severely neglected, with visible rust and wear on the cables and rollers that went unaddressed.

Prevention: Regular inspection and maintenance could have identified and rectified the deteriorating condition of the door components, preventing the accident.

Event 2: The Retail Store Incident

A high street retail store faced legal action when their poorly installed roller shutter abruptly descended, striking a customer. The root cause was found to be improper installation and a lack of safety checks, which should have identified the malfunctioning descent control mechanism.

Prevention: Ensuring professional installation and conducting routine safety checks could have averted this incident.

Event 3: The Tragic Car Park Incident at the DVLA

In a deeply unfortunate incident, a fatality occurred at a DVLA car park where a woman, engaging in an extremely risky behavior known as "shutter surfing," lost her life. The victim attempted to ride the roller shutter as it ascended, leading to her becoming trapped and subsequently sustaining fatal injuries.

Background: "Shutter surfing" refers to the dangerous act of clinging onto a moving roller shutter. Despite clear signage warning against tampering with or misusing the roller shutters, the safety messages were ignored, leading to this tragic outcome.

Prevention: This heartbreaking incident underscores the critical importance of security measures such as CCTV surveillance to deter risky behaviors and the installation of safety mechanisms that prevent the shutter from operating if an obstruction or unusual activity is detected. Additionally, raising awareness about the dangers of misusing industrial equipment can help prevent such senseless tragedies.

What Should Have Been Done: In addition to the installation of safety and surveillance equipment, regular safety briefings and clear, visible warnings about the dangers of interacting with operational machinery should be provided. Engagement with employees and the public on safety practices around industrial doors and shutters is crucial.

This event is a somber reminder of the importance of safety around industrial doors and shutters, not only in terms of maintenance and operation but also in terms of public awareness and behavior around such equipment. It is a call to action for facility managers and the public to adhere strictly to safety guidelines and respect the operational boundaries of industrial machinery.

Understanding the Causes and Preventive Measures

The common denominators in these incidents were neglect, poor maintenance, and the absence of proper safety measures. To prevent such accidents, building owners and managers must:

Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance: Engage qualified professionals to inspect and maintain doors and shutters regularly.

Implement Safety Features: Install auto-reverse mechanisms, motion detectors, and manual override systems.

Provide Training: Educate staff on the proper operation and emergency procedures related to industrial doors and shutters.

Adhere to Installation Standards: Ensure that installation is performed by certified technicians following industry standards.

Legal Obligations of Building Owners

Building owners have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their premises. This includes:

  • Complying with health and safety regulations.
  • Ensuring that all door and shutter systems are fit for purpose and regularly maintained.Keeping a record of maintenance and safety checks.

Failure to meet these obligations can lead to legal ramifications, including fines and compensation claims.

Resources for Further Information

To deepen your understanding and ensure compliance with safety standards, consider the following resources:

In conclusion, while roller shutters and industrial doors are essential for security and operational efficiency, their associated risks should not be underestimated. By understanding these dangers, taking preventive measures, and fulfilling legal obligations, building owners can ensure a safer environment for employees and visitors alike. Stay informed, stay safe.

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