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The Gordon Institute Protects its Students

with Fortress Interlocks. The Gordon Institute of Technical and Further Education (TAFE), in Geelong, Australia has installed safety interlocks from Fortress to ensure the safety of staff and students in its carpentry area.

Two dust extraction units work hard to remove sawdust from machines in the area. Frequent blockages occur in the extractors requiring personnel to access the units and clean them out; a serious accident could occur should someone power up the machinery whilst they were being cleaned.

When this safety concern was highlighted, Electrical Maintenance Technician, Stephen Humphries, proposed an entrapped key safety system to safeguard the area and contacted Fortress Interlocks to help build the lockout system.

Fortress installed 3 CL S units and a key exchange. To access the hazardous area, keys are removed from the machine shop lockout and dust extractors 1 and 2, which power off and isolate all machinery. These 3 keys are inserted into the key exchange releasing the 'system isolated' key which is taken by the person accessing the dust extractors. This key guarantees their safety while they are unblocking the extraction units, and, once it is removed from the key exchange, a light flashes to signal the machine status to other personnel.

Stephen commented, “I was extremely pleased with the equipment Fortress supplied and our OH&S representatives were impressed with the lockout procedure. This system was necessary because we have a large number of people utilising the facility and we are constantly seeing new students. The extraction units are not visible from the workshop, and because they need to be accessed frequently, it was cause for concern. But now our students and staff are safeguarded.

“We also have the added advantage of being able to build on this system at any time in the future.”
For more information on Fortress products, please visit

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