Overhead Door Injury: What you should Know

Are you a property owner? If yes then you must have a clue that any injury caused by your property might lead to lawsuits. If you are hearing this for the first time, then I must guess that you are planning to become a property manager, or you are yet to sign a contractual agreement with your tenants.

The ugly truth is overhead door injuries can force you to pay large sums of money to compensate the victims especially if you aren’t well acquainted with how to go about it. The good news is, you can minimize risk. Here is a brief overview of some of the things you must understand about overhead door injuries.
steel rolling overhead doors

Understanding Overhead Door Injuries

Overhead door injuries are simply the injuries that result from improper management of your overhead door systems. The injuries might include incapacitation or even death. As a property owner, it is your duty to ensure that your overhead door systems are properly installed and maintained to avoid accidents.

While there are some key differences between injuries to the public and injuries to employees, the most important thing to remember is that it is in the property owner’s best interest to be proactive about safety on the premises.

The main reason, overhead injuries are considered the fault of the property owner is the fact that poor management of the overhead door system leading to injury is deemed to occur due to lack of reasonable care. As a result, property owners are expected to inspect or hire professional maintenance as a safety measure. It is also critical to understand the type of overhead doors you have installed so as to put in place the right steps needed to ensure it doesn’t fail to function. Here are the two common categories of overhead door systems.

  • Residential
  • These are overhead doors simply installed in homes owned by single families, apartment buildings, and condominiums. Residential overhead doorways come in two types; that are, single panel overhead pivoting garage doors and a sectional door system. The single door systems are common in old buildings while the sectional door systems work best with newer buildings.

  • Commercial Doors

These are doors installed in commercial buildings. Several materials and components are used to design and install commercial doorways. The materials used to build them are usually heavier than the residential overhead doorways since they are built to handle the wear and tear that accompanies daily industrial use.

Depending on the size of the building they are being installed, commercial overhead doorways vary in measurements, thickness, type of material used and most importantly, weight. They are also controlled by motorized operators. The most common cause of injuries from commercial overhead doors is the sectional overhead doors that are usually built into the commercial truck bodies.

Whether it is a commercial or a residential overhead door system, overhead doors need proper installation and maintenance to avoid injuries. This is because, if left for long without being checked for performance, they usually fall apart or have their components crushed and damaged making them loose and dangerous. To avoid this, you need to consider several overhead door safety tips proven to work.
houston garage door safety inspection
Despite the differences, residential and commercial door systems share some similarities in structure that make their periodic maintenance vital for safety. Here are some of the things you must watch out for:

  • Motorized opener: If the opener of the door is motorized, it is important to check it, at least, each month simply because it might fail to function when it is needed most.
  • Safety sensors: Most residential and commercial buildings have safety sensors installed. When safety sensors fail to operate, it might endanger the lives of those in your property. It is, therefore, vital for the property owner to inspect them regularly to ensure they are working.
  • Automated instant reverse mechanism: Most commercial or residential installations don’t have safety sensors. Instead, they have automatic instant reverse system that depends on the input of the resistance to stop as well as reverse the operation of the door system. If you have this, then it is recommended that you ensure that the door travel speed is as specified by the manufacturer.

Always Check your Doors

The best way to ensure that your doors are working properly is to check them regularly. If you have any of these installed on your overhead door system, here is what you need to do:

  • Electric eye beams: Check if they are properly aligned, ensure that they are cleaned and last but not least, check for the focus.
  • Auto reverse functions: Known for crushing forces. It is, therefore, vital to evaluate them regularly.
  • Rolling part systems: Ensure that all the guides, tracks, and rollers in the rolling part system are cleaned.
  • Safety systems, guides, and motor clutches: If you have a commercial door system installed, it is vital to ensure that safety systems, guides, and motor clutches are operating properly.
  • One of the things that prevent the doors from functioning as needed is obstacles either in their way or particles accumulated in their body parts. If your overhead door system is complex, then chances that it will have obstructions on its way are high. It is therefore advisable to ensure that all the parts and the surrounding of your overhead door system is free of obstacles. This will enhance its performance as well as prevent its parts from wearing out which in turn will prevent overhead door injuries.

    It is also vital to check the door’s control cable that is used to regulate the doors balance as well as lift it. Also, check for the bearings, roller guides and most importantly, cables.

    Benefits of Maintenance

    • Check for repairs needed: Regular checking of the doors will inform both the tenant and the person who owns the property of the vital repairs urgently needed.
    • Safety: It will also contribute to the safety of both the tenants and any person visiting the property.
    • Cost effective: One of the most important reasons you need to check regularly for faults is the fact that it will do away with lawsuits that might result from overhead door injuries. This will protect you as the property owner from paying large sums of money in the name of compensation.

    Overhead door systems are one of the vital installations you need to ensure that your property is safe from intruders and other unwanted things. However, leaving them unattended might result in accidents that might lead to lawsuits. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the doors whether residential or commercial, are properly maintained. To achieve this, you need to do some regular inspection, replace worn out and damaged parts and most importantly, remove any dirt or particle that might be an obstruction to your overhead door system’s moving parts. If you can do this, then you will secure the lives of the people in your property as well as save yourself the trouble of facing overhead door injury lawsuits.

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