Five ways trapped key interlocks can protect people in the waste industry

Safety in the waste and recycling industry is a key focus of the HSE.

The recent Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum blueprint (PDF), produced with the HSE, highlights the sector’s potential dangers and sets out a road map to reduce risk and improve safety knowledge in the industry.

Here are five reasons why trapped key interlocks can improve safety in the waste and recycling sector:

1.    They’re foolproof and ensure equipment can only be used in a safe way.

2.    They’re mainly mechanical and easy to install and retrofit.

3.    They’re hard-wearing and can withstand harsh environments.

4.    They can be installed on the full range of equipment found at a waste and recycling site.

5.    It’s not always easy to spot when someone is in a dangerous area before a machine starts. ‘Personnel keys’ remove this risk: a machine can’t be started until the keys are returned by operatives from the hazardous area.

By: David Hughes, Sales Director, Castell Safety International Ltd.

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Safety interlocking guide improves efficiency in waste and recycling industries

Castell’s new brochure informed by 90 years’ experience of high-risk sector

Castell has produced a new interlocking guide for the waste and recycling sector. The guide suggests ways in which customers in those industries can safely interlock their particular application, ensuring that personnel are protected while operations remain efficient.


The application guide can be downloaded from:

In the waste and recycling industries, safety interlocks are typically used to safeguard sorters, shredders, compactors and bailers. Following growth in waste-to-energy projects, Castell has increasingly been asked to ensure safe access to emission control systems, protecting personnel from high-voltage equipment.

Between 2004/5 and 2011/12, 97 workers were fatally injured in waste and recycling activities, making it one of Britain’s deadliest industries.

Through robust mechanical design, Castell’s products are guaranteed to perform over extended periods of time, particularly in harsh conditions and aggressive environments.

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New switchgear interlocking application guide facilitates selection

Switchgear safety specialist Castell has released a new application guide for switchgear interlocking that makes it easier to understand and choose interlocks for a wide variety of customer applications.


The guide covers the following industrial applications: earthing systems; high-, medium- and low-voltage hazards; switching incomers onto common supply busbars; switching UPS systems and generators on to common supply busbars; and controlling the supply from multiple incomers.

Castell has been safeguarding electrical networks for over 90 years. The ability to work across high-, medium- and low-voltage applications means that a single Castell system can be used to provide personnel safety and ensure equipment is operated in the correct way.

Working closely with key switchgear manufacturers, Castell assembles interlocks designed specifically for use on the leading OEM’s breakers, isolators, disconnectors and earth mechanisms. The new application guide shows how Castell’s interlocks can be used in conjunction with the equipment of leading manufacturers.

The new application guide can be downloaded from the Castell website

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Fyffes chooses Salvo™ for UK distribution centres

Fyffes, one of the leading importers and distributors of tropical produce, has installed Castell’s Salvo™ drive-away prevention system at its UK distribution centres.

Fyffes, Salvo, Castell, warehouse, safety,

Salvo™ is now protecting loading and unloading operations at the company’s Livingston, Wakefield, Coventry and Basingstoke sites – a total of 31 loading bays.

“The Salvo™ system is simple, robust and secure, and gives us confidence in the safety and security of our loading and unloading operations,” said George Kennedy, Fyffes’ General Manager (UK Depot Operations).

Drivers report to the transport office and are allocated a loading bay. After reversing their vehicle onto the bay, they return to the transport office where they leave their ignition key and collect the Salvo™ Susie for that loading bay. They then install the Susie on the emergency airline coupling, which releases a trapped key. This key is inserted and turned in the Salvo™ Control Panel on the outside of the bay. An amber beacon illuminates on the inside to indicate that the loading bay is now safe and ready to use. The loader opens the door, trapping the key in the SCP outside. While the door remains raised and the key trapped in the control panel, the trailer cannot be moved.

The Health & Safety Executive booklet ‘Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety’
recommends interlocks as a safe system of work to combat drive-aways. Salvo™ also features as an example of a safe system of work in the Freight Transport Association’s ‘Loading dock safety guide’, produced in conjunction with the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health.

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Bonmarché banishes drive-aways with Salvo™

Clothing retailer invests in interlocking system to improve warehouse safety

Bonmarché, the UK’s largest value womenswear retailer for women aged 50+ years, has improved the safety of its loading and unloading operations with the adoption of Castell’s Salvo™.


The interlocking drive-away prevention system has been installed on all seven loading bays at Bonmarché’s Grange Moor head office, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Grange Moor, Bonmarché’s only distribution centre, handles an average of 140,000 garments a day, although this rises to 200,000 at peak times.

Third-party drivers arriving at Grange Moor report to security and receive documentation explaining how the Salvo™ system operates. They park in a holding area, where they are met by a supervisor who checks that they understand the information they have been given. Drivers are then asked to reverse into a particular loading bay, before disengaging their engine and fitting either a Salvo™ Susie or SGL lock to their vehicle’s exposed emergency airline coupling. This action effectively immobilises the trailer and releases a key, which the driver hands to a member of the warehouse staff. Inserting and turning the key in the control panel located next to the bay door powers up the bay and enables the door to be raised. Once the dock leveller has been correctly positioned, the driver is asked to pull the cab away, park in the holding area and wait there until further notice while unloading takes place.

Goods-out follows a similar procedure, except that Bonmarché’s warehouse staff fit the Salvo™ Susie or Salvo™ Club, an interlocking steering wheel lock, to the vehicle prior to loading.

The Health & Safety Executive booklet ‘Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety’
recommends interlocks as a safe system of work to combat drive-aways. Salvo™ also features as an example of a safe system of work in the Freight Transport Association’s ‘Loading dock safety guide’, produced in conjunction with the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health.

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Castell makes selecting MBV interlock easier

Selection form enables Modular Ball Valve to be tailored to customer requirements

Castell has developed a new Modular Ball Valve (MBV) selection system, available immediately, which enables all MBV products to be tailored to customer requirements. The new system allows potential customers to receive a complete, accurate and guaranteed price for their MBV product before committing to a purchase.

Castell’s MBV technology provides a safe, cost-effective mechanism to ensure logical, predetermined operation of valves in a variety of industrial applications. Using Castell’s time-proven trapped key technology, MBV interlocks are manufactured in stainless steel and designed to operate in harsh conditions. Positional feedback can be achieved using positive guided dual-contact switches.

Castell recently provided a major North American organisation with a portfolio of MBV products to transport helium and argon gases through a mountainous region in a safe and efficient manner.

Castell’s sales director David Hughes commented: “Drawing on Castell’s 90 years of experience in trapped key interlocking, this new selection system strengthens our already comprehensive product range.”

Electronic copies of MBV data sheets, a pricing application form and Castell product catalogue are available on the company website:

Please contact the technical sales team on + 44 (0)20 8200 1200 for more information.

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New restraint prevents rigid vehicle drive-aways

Salvo™ Chock now quicker and easier to use

Industrial safety specialist Castell has redesigned Salvo™ Chock, its interlocking wheel chock, to improve its technical specifications and operational performance.


Castell’s design team has gone back to the drawing board to create a restraint for rigid vehicles that can satisfy the demanding conditions of the loading yard. The result is a chock that is lighter, stronger, significantly easier to use and, importantly, faster to manoeuvre.

Salvo™ is a system that restrains vehicles at loading docks while loading or unloading occurs. This is achieved through patented technology that interlocks either an exposed airline coupling, or a wheel chock, and the loading dock door. This means that while the loading door is open there is no way the vehicle can move; only when the loading door is closed can the restraining device be removed.

Paul Marks, Castell’s new product development director, explained: “To enable Salvo™ Chock to really deliver the performance required, we had to spend extensive time researching from first principles what was needed. We believe that, by creating the new Salvo™ Chock, the design team has addressed the key needs of the market.”

Launched eight years ago to prevent drive-aways in the logistics industry, the Salvo™ range has undergone significant product development in the last 12 months. New software, DockMonitor, has been designed to enhance the efficiency of the loading process by capturing operational data such as loading time, number of operations, idle time and available time. The addition of DockMonitor to the range means that Salvo™ now enables loading dock performance to be measured while still guaranteeing safety.

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Castell celebrates 90 years of industrial safety

Industrial safety specialist Castell has celebrated 90 years of protecting people and assets worldwide.


Photo caption: (l-r) Sheena Shah, Kishore Pisavadia, Chris McDonald, Mike Ganesh, Neil Thakor and Jim Dilks with their long-service awards

When James ‘Harry’ Castell formed the company in 1922, the health and safety industry was in embryonic form; it would be another 52 years before the UK would see the passing of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The electrification of London provided the catalyst for Harry to focus on safety at work. Electrical systems offered workers little protection, leading to many accidents and deaths. Taking the concept of interlocks from the railways, Harry applied the technology to electrical systems and electrical trapped key interlocking was born.

Castell’s headquarters stand on the same north-London site that has served as home for the vast majority of the company’s life. Castell is still protecting people in the workplace, although the company’s reach has increased dramatically. With operations throughout the world – from Shanghai to Chicago and Chennai to Cologne – the business is now truly global. The variety of applications the company tackles has also grown, from electrical switchgear to machine guarding, marine safety, rail, logistics and transport.

This year also sees Castell’s longest-serving employee, Jim Dilks, complete 40 years’ service with the company. Castell held an awards ceremony in October 2012 to celebrate this extremely rare event. During the ceremony, Castell also presented long-service awards to a further five Castell colleagues: Mike Ganesh (35 years), Neil Thakor (30 years), Kishore Pisavadia, Chris McDonald and Sheena Shah (25 years each).

Keith Allingham, operations director, commented: “Trapped key interlocking is so versatile, it lends itself to a wide variety of applications. With the level of safety Castell interlocks provide and the length of service they can endure, we see demand from all four corners of the globe.”

Dr Tim Whelan, Castell’s managing director, spoke of the pride of being part of a company with such a tradition: “Castell has a long history of providing robust systems, and this is something at the forefront of our minds when we think about how we develop the company and satisfy customers’ requirements. We estimate there are over two million Castell locks still in circulation, which is a lot of people being kept safe by our products, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We still regularly receive calls from customers who have had locks installed for over 50 years and are looking to extend and develop their systems. The team we have at Castell is equally dedicated to ensuring that high-performance products are manufactured and distributed worldwide today. It is a testament to our organisation that we have many employees who have been with us for 20, 30 and even 40 years.”

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Castell forges new partnership with Kempston Controls

Kempston now supplying Castell’s full range of trapped key interlocks

Castell Safety International is pleased to announce a new and exclusive distribution partnership with Kempston Controls, a leading specialist distributor of electrical and electronic components. Kempston has over 70 years’ experience supplying OEMs, panel builders and end users throughout the UK.


Photo caption: (l-r) Symon Winch, Castell’s European sales manager, with Kempston’s sales manager Philip Hayhurst and production manager James Townend

Castell’s full range of trapped key interlocks is now available from Kempston, with a selected range held in stock for immediate order fulfilment. The new partnership makes the dramatically reduced lead times delivered by Castell’s unique end-coding manufacturing process available through a UK distribution channel for the first time.

In order that the partnership offer maximum customer benefit, both companies have been focused on ensuring that the correct training and knowledge transfer has taken place.

Symon Winch, Castell’s European sales manager, commented: “I am pleased to be working with such a professional distributor. The processes Kempston has in place deliver a high level of customer service, which in turn will provide even greater value to customers wanting to buy Castell products.”

Kempston Controls’ sales director Craig Barrowcliffe added: “Both Castell and Kempston have a long history of delivering high-quality products and service. I see this partnership as a great opportunity to provide products that complement our marketplace. I am looking forward to a very successful future.”

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Salvo™ DockMonitor maximises loading dock efficiency

System displays real-time site performance and individual dock statistics

Industrial safety specialist Castell has developed a data-gathering and analysis device to maximise loading dock efficiency. Salvo™ DockMonitor combines the Salvo™ safety system, a data-gathering device and a live graphical interface running on a PC to display overall site performance or individual dock statistics.


The system’s report function generates graphical reports on dock use, loading times, idle times, shift-to-shift comparison and maintenance. This information can then be exported to a range of standard file formats for further review and analysis.

Salvo™ Dock Monitor has been designed to enable loading operations to run more efficiently by providing crucial information in real time. Increasing efficiency at the loading dock cuts costs in terms of reducing the number of loading docks required in a facility and ensuring assets are used as economically as possible.

Modern logistics is a high-pressure industry. Increased fuel costs, congestion, tight delivery schedules and safety are all issues facing distributors and manufacturers in a highly competitive market. When capacity is tight, the cost of installing an additional loading dock can run into tens of thousands of pounds. Having staff and assets sat waiting for docks to become available during busy periods can also prove highly expensive.

Jason Reed, global Salvo™ business development manager, commented: “Salvo™ has been an important development in loading dock safety and implemented on thousands of loading docks worldwide. Salvo™ DockMonitor now adds a second dimension. Not only can customers be sure their site is safe, they can drive real efficiency through the loading process in a safe manner using real-time information. In operations where time is crucial and capacity is limited, Salvo™ DockMonitor will make a big impact.”

Paul Marks, Castell’s NPD director, explained the development process. “Building a tool like this has to involve the customers from an early stage to ensure the right information is delivered in the right manner. We have worked closely with our customers to ensure we have fully understood their requirements and the pressure their environments bring. Increasing efficiency at the loading dock can bring big rewards, such as reducing the number of loading docks required in a facility and ensuring assets are used as efficiently as possible.”

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