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Important Swing Arm Barrier Health and Safety Information

Newgate Newark Ltd would like to bring to your attention an important health and safety message in relation to manual swing arm barriers.

“Supermarket giant ordered to pay £267,000 after admitting health and safety breaches over the death a man killed by a car park barrier.”

“Boy, 17, suffers slashed chin as tip barrier smashes into car”.

The first headline was from an accident which occurred in a supermarket car park in 2002 after an unsecured barrier smashed through a car windscreen.

Whilst we’ve worked closely with a number of supermarket chains to redesign their manual swing arm barriers to limit the health and safety risks, we are still unfortunately seeing the same thing occur elsewhere across the country, with the second headline as recent as April 2022.

A similar incident occurred at a supermarket in Peterborough in 2015 when the barrier swung open and again went through the windscreen of a customer’s vehicle.

Best Practices

Whilst these types of barriers are slowly starting to be phased out, there are many that still exist throughout the UK which pose a dangerous health and safety risk to users.

Old Style


New Style

Following the Peterborough incident, we installed a new height restrictor and swing arm barrier designed to limit the impact with the new standard squared off end to meet the latest entrance barrier safety standards.

Bad Practice

Best Practice

As per the example above, if the barrier isn’t properly secured, these types of barriers can move in the wind and can be blown open to face oncoming traffic. The best practice is to use a robust locking system which will securely lock the barrier in place.

We’ve worked closely with other supermarket chains to replace their manual swing arm barriers with manual rising arm barriers to reduce their health and safety concerns and offer a more robust solution. Rising arm barriers offer a safer alternative as the barrier just goes up and down rather than the potential risk of swinging open to face oncoming traffic, limiting the risk of injury to customers.

If you still currently have any of the old style manual swing arm barriers or are concerned about the health and safety of your equipment, please contact the team at Newgate today. We will work with you to redesign or replace your existing barriers to reduce the risks and help keep your customers safe.

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