How Safe are Your Doors?

Posted: 1/4/2019

Do your automatic doors meet current safety standards? More stringent Health and Safety Standards have been introduced across Europe in April 2013. Make sure you’re not left behind!

The new standard EN 16005 is designed to safeguard pedestrians from accidents caused by the design and installation of automatic doors. In the introduction to the standard, its scope is described as “[dealing] with all significant hazards, hazardous situations and events relevant to power-operated door and gate sets when they are used as intended and where conditions of misuse are reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer”.

The standard is intended to facilitate cross-border trading and is the first formalised pan-European standard for automatic entrance equipment. All EU countries must comply with EN 16005, as must any products manufactured outside the EU for use inside it. The standard is also used outside the EU, including countries in the Middle East and Asia.

EN 16005 has been formed from various existing standards, including BS 7036 parts 1-5, which has been recognised as a code of practice since 1996, and the German standard DIN 18650. It also contains 19 normative references (references to publicly available documents that are indispensable for the application of the standard).

EN 16005 does not apply to “Specialist Doors” ie: security doors in banks and airports.

Ensuring the safety of door users

Because power-operated doors are essentially machines with moving parts, the safety of users is a key consideration. The obvious hazards are where moving parts move past fixed parts, creating the possibility of trapping fingers or even crushing bodies.

The danger points vary depending on the type of door:

Automatic sliding doors

The danger points are where the two leaves come together, and at the two closing edges. The use of sensors and pocket screens – essentially a pocket into which the door slides – can help to reduce hazards. The “slot” at the top of the door where the operator is located is not deemed a hazard because of its height above floor level – any injury caused from touching the door here would be classed as an intentional act.

Automatic swing doors

Here the danger points are where the door closes into the frame and the secondary closing edge where the door pivots. The primary danger points are overcome by a combination of safety sensors and controlling the door opening and closing speeds. Finger entrapment protection will limit the potential danger at the secondary closing edge.

Automatic folding doors

The main danger points are where the leaves come together – the main closing edge – and where the door folds – the secondary closing edge. Again, the use of presence sensors and limiting the opening and closing speeds can reduce the risk of injury. The profile design on the secondary closing edge can help to prevent finger entrapment.

Revolving doors

A typical revolving door has several potential danger points due to the number of closing edges. On moving leaves, foot or heel switches are needed so that if the door catches up with the user it will stop. On the top of the moving leaf there should be a safety sensor. And on the leading mullion a safety strip is required.

Clear signage on all types of doors is a key component of the safety system. It is the commissioning engineer’s responsibility to attach all relevant signage initially, and then the building owner or occupier is responsible for maintaining it. Signage should be affixed to the powered door system at a height of between 1,300mm and 1,600mm.

Appropriate signage includes:

  • No entry sign
  • Keep clear sign
  • Emergency break-out sign
  • Automatic door sign
  • Disabled person sign
  • Direction of travel sign

Existing standards

There are already a number of standards and codes of practice to be taken into consideration when designing and installing automatic doors. These include:

  • BS 7036. Although the British standard is being integrated into the EN standard, its signage and manifestation requirements will remain. This is because it includes UK-specific guidance, whereas the EN standard is more generic.
  • The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This outlines the legal requirements and obligations for safeguarding users of machinery. It defines only the essential health and safety requirements. As an automatic door is a machine, it comes under the umbrella of the Machinery Directive. EN 16005 is derived from this directive.
  • The Health and Safety Executive’s Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Approved Code of Practice. This is necessary as the HSE investigates all accidents involving power-operated doors.
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. This implemented an EU directive on minimum health and safety requirements for nearly all workplaces.
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. These lay down requirements for employers regarding the safety and use of all work equipment including machinery.

Impact on specifiers

Architects, like developers, manufacturers, installers, service companies and building owners, are potentially liable if there is an accident involving a power-operated door. The EN standard is the primary document that is considered to show due diligence in court. Architects should note that all existing work in design must conform to EN 16005.

Specifiers must also be careful to select suppliers who can provide qualified staff, to ensure that the installer is aware of its responsibilities and the correct settings.

Approved installers will need to re-qualify to EN 16005. In general, EN 16005 is deemed to be more onerous than the existing national standards. Key aspects include:

Safety Analysis

During the quoting process a Risk Assessment called a “Safety Analysis” must be carried out and a document that will remain live throughout the project created. At the end of the project the commissioning engineer will complete their section (that confirms that the door complies with the design requirements) and it will then be issued for inclusion in the building Safety File.


Each manufacturer has its own logbook, with information such as the unique identification number, the door location reference, contact details of the installer, date of installation and identification of any power-operated drive unit and protective devices. The new standard emphasises the importance of logbooks as the primary record of manufacture and installation — similar to a service book for a car. In the event of an accident the logbook would be called upon in a court of law. It needs to be kept by the building owner or facilities manager and completed by the service technician. It is recommended that it is kept near to the actual door. If this booklet goes missing or is not available during a visit a new one should be issued at the customers’ cost. Additionally a BS7036 check sheet (commissioning sheet) must be completed yearly.

Activation distances

The minimum activation distance for automatic swing or sliding doors on escape routes has been increased from 1,400mm to 1,500mm as people move faster in an emergency, so doors must open sooner. In non-escape situations, the activation distance has been reduced from 1,400mm to 1,000mm to allow for cross-traffic — in other words, to ensure doors don’t open every time someone walks past.

Protective leaves

This is the term used in the European standard for pocket screens. The safety distance between the fixed and moving parts, which is set to help limit the risk of finger entrapment at the secondary closing edge, has increased from ≤6mm in BS 7036 to ≤ 8mm in EN 16005. Danger points for protective leaves extend to a height of 2.5m. Covers and guards should only be removable with a tool.

Safety distances

Head entrapment is a potential danger where automatic sliding doors open up against an adjacent wall or structure. To reduce this risk, the distances between the final stopping point of the door and a fixed structure should be greater than 200mm. If there is a risk of body entrapment, then the safety distance should be greater than 500mm.

Pedestrian barriers

As in the previous standard, these should have a minimum height of 900mm and should be designed so that children cannot climb over them or trap fingers or heads.

Revolving doors

Revolving doors up to and including 3m in height require additional sensors on the moving door leaves at both heel level and the leading edge and at least one emergency stop. Speed and power limitations are set at a more onerous level, which means that doors are slower.

Escape Doors

EN 16005 requires that all escape doors must be fitted with either: A) A break out device or B) Level “D” activation devices (monitored) and a redundant system, ie: a second motor that is capable of opening the door following the failure of the main system.

In the UK Building Regulations require that all escape doors are connected to the Fire Alarm. When connected to the Fire Alarm escape doors no longer have this requirement. However if a door is commissioned prior to an alarm connection being established, the door will not comply and should be de-commissioned until the alarm interface is available. Escape doors that are not regularly used should have a redundant system installed. This is not required if the client tests the door operation once a week, this procedure must then be documented.


Whenever a door has a locking facility this must only be accessible via the use of a key or an access code. Key pads with free access to all are no longer acceptable.

Test Objects

The test object size has now changed to 200 x 300 x 700mm tall and must have 2 matt black surfaces and 3 high gloss surfaces. Additionally, the test object test positions for each procedure are now stated.

Electro Automation provide a full range of service and maintenance options to cover all equipment both supplied and installed by us or other manufacturers.

To ensure the longevity of our products and enforce all Health and Safety requirements, our automatic equipment must be serviced at least twice per year for commercial entrances. Electro Automation are more than happy to offer this service to all our customers.

Electronic records are kept of all services, including all safety features, faults if there are any, and notes of any improvements that could be made. An electronic copy of the service can be emailed, allowing you, the customer, to have immediate access to servicing data. This is particularly beneficial where there are a large number of products or entrances onsite.

All of our products meet or exceed current Health and Safety standards. Maintaining your equipment ensures compliance and is good practise. Equipment not complying to these standards can break down or malfunction, causing injuries which you may be liable for. By having a Maintenance Contract with Electro Automation, the responsibility of the upkeep of the equipment will be passed to us.

This division supplies all of Electro Automation’s customers with an excellent maintenance service across all equipment types. These customers can be a small single barrier user, a large multiple access control and gate automation customer such as a high-security site (an embassy or prison for example), or a very large car parking customer. All their requirements vary greatly from a cost-effective next day response, to an immediate response within a guaranteed time scale.

What's Included in Our Service Visit?

  • Planned Preventative Maintenance
  • Basic adjustments to ensure the equipment is working correctly
  • Rectify any minor faults in opening and closing speeds, sensors, back check and latching
  • Ensure the equipment is compliant with all current Health and Safety standards
  • A full written report detailing the service

Some customers have ‘Revenue Critical’ applications where downtime can mean an inability to collect money. These may require their own tailor-made response.

Our Service & Maintenance Division supports over 1,500 accounts with the following services:

  • Planned Preventative Maintenance
  • General Service
  • Emergency and Priority Call-Out Service
  • Extended Warranty
  • Health and Safety Regulation and Compliance
  • Discounts on Parts and Labour
  • Competitive Callout Rates
  • Technical Back-Up Support
  • Training Programme
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Spares Holding
  • 24/7 Nationwide Cover

Why Have A Maintenance Contract with Electro Automation?

  • Ensures the equipment is working efficiency and doesn’t contravene any H&S Regulations
  • Increased lifespan of the equipment
  • Reduced number of call-outs as a result of breakdown
  • Ensures that the safety features are in correct working order which reduces the risk of insurance claims
  • A regularly maintained operator will reduce operating costs and helps eliminate large, unexpected bills

Contact Us Today!

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