The Door & Hardware Federation, dhf has been highlighting the possible legal ramifications for businesses that fail to ensure gate safety. Following the sentencing of Robert Churchyard, the Federation has seen an opportunity to reiterate the legal consequences of not ensuring the safety of gate equipment.
Last Month, Robert Churchyard, 52 was found guilty of the manslaughter of 56-year-old Jill Lunn. Jill died in April 2013 after an accident that involved an unsafe automated gate. Earlier this week, Mr. Churchyard, an employee at the time of Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment. The automated door company was also fined £12,000, which has to be paid within 12 months.
This sentence marks the first time that an individual has received a custodial sentence for an accident that involved an unsafe automated gate. The General Manager of dhf, Michael Skelding has said that in this case the precedent was needed in order to ensure the safe installation of automated gate installation in the future and improve installation and maintenance of these products.
The sentence that has been handed down is a warning to their working in the automated gate sector that they must make sure that all of the doors and gates are checked for safety against the current standards as well as undergoing regular maintenance, which must be carried out by properly trained specialists. The court case of Robert Churchyard illustrates that individuals as well as companies will face the consequences of failing to carry out these safety measures, or face prosecution.
The federation works to represent all of the key players in the lock and building hardware, doorsets, industrial doors and shutters, domestic garage doors and automated gates sectors. The aim of the dhf is to maintain and increase the quality of standards throughout the industry and all dhf members need to meet the minimum standards of competence and customer service.