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Cova Withdraws from DHF

Last updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Save & Share

A major UK manufacturer of automated gate systmens has opted to leave one of the leading industry associations, the DHF, over its concerns about ‘mechanisms and publicised processes’.

Cova Security Gates Ltd (CSG) has announced the withdrawal of its membership saying that it has not taken this decision  ‘lightly and have come to conclude that the direction of travel currently being taken by the DHF and that of recent member company’s actions (based on DHF training and association) is not one that CSG can support at this current time.’

In response the DHF said that it has ‘every confidence’ in its consultation procedures.

In a detailed statement Cova Security Gates’ commercial director Adrian Lewis said: ‘Since the very beginning, we have been a firm supporter and an active member of DHF’s ‘Gate Safety’ initiative and whilst we applaud and fully commit to the drive to improve overall safety of powered gates, the production and subsequent use of ‘DHF TS 011:2016 Code of Practice for Powered Gates and Barriers’ as a publicly available ‘compliance’ document, has not undergone sufficient rigorous and critical review.

‘CSG are concerned that the DHF does not appear to have sufficient mechanisms or publicised processes in place to ensure fair arbitration when it comes to dispute resolution between member companies. Furthermore, the reliance on a DHF individual acting as advisor and arbitrator with the attendant risk of partiality cannot be considered best practice.

‘From Cova’s perspective we believe that the DHF are promoting a Code of Practice that is neither proportionate, reasonable or adaptable to suit the actual risk of harm – inevitably, this has led to a significant heightening of fear for manufacturers, installers and users alike.

‘There is a clear defining need and understanding within the industry of who creates policies and directives and who is responsible for their enforcement, and where associations and federation roles and responsibilities begin and end.

Cova are concerned that the Code of Practice has not been written by a recognised conventional standards authority, has not engaged sufficiently with manufacturers and experts across the wider
industry. Indeed, it is apparent that there has been very considerable blurring of responsibility.

‘Cova believe that the Machinery Directive is not the correct tool to best drive product conformance for the automated gate and barrier industry. Clearly there is a need for a stand-alone industry
standard which is risk based and fit for all automated gate and barrier systems, across a very wide spectrum of users and applications.

‘Cova understand risk, we have been designing, manufacturing and installing automated gates for over 30 years without incident, and we intend to maintain our good reputation.’

Michael Skelding, the general manager and secretary of the DHF, said : ‘We are aware of the Cova statement. Since, as the release makes clear, there is another member involved and because there are still issues to be investigated we cannot comment further on the specifics of the case.

‘We would, however, take this opportunity to state that, whatever Cova may believe, the Machinery Directive is the law governing the placing on the market of automated gates and we have every confidence that DHF TS 011, which has had the benefit of extensive consultation, provides a realistic and appropriate means of achieving compliance with the law.’


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