WorkSafe has issued a safety alert around automated gates after a child was nearly crushed to death at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in 2016.

A 7-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was trapped between a rock wall and the heavy gate but has since fully recovered.

The workplace regulator suggested businesses make safety changes that would cost around $2150 to install but prevent similar incidents from occurring.

The child became stuck after the gate started to open when a car activated it via sensor loops under the tar seal.

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Child crushed represented by road cone. Photo / Supplied
Child crushed represented by road cone. Photo / Supplied

The child was pulled into the space between the wall and the bars of the gate and was subsequently crushed.

The process took less than 45 seconds to occur and the automated gate had no safety devices to protect people from injury as it opened.

It took bystanders five minutes to free the child and he was rushed to Middlemore Hospital after he was released from the gate.

The boy was not conscious following the incident and had a large injury on his head.

WorkSafe said if bystanders did not intervene, the child could have been crushed to death.

WorkSafe recommendations:

• Signage warning people to keep clear when they are activated.
• Flashing beacon devices to warn of impending gate movement.
• A pressure sensor for the gate's leading edge.
• An emergency stop button, programmed with momentary reverse.
• Have clearly labelled emergency gate releases.
• Install a torque-limited device to limit the moving force of the gate.