Safer Future

Safer Future

Matrix develops in-oven kill switch system & new procedures in response to industry tragedy.

Following the tragic death of a production worker at a rotational moulding company making kayaks in the UK, materials supplier Matrix Polymers has developed an in-oven kill switch and other procedures to make sure such an incident cannot happen again.

The accident happened when a supervisor was cleaning the inside of an oven and another production worker started the machine without knowing someone was inside.

There has been much discussion and soul-searching in the industry following this tragedy and it has led companies like Matrix Polymers to review their procedures and make sure such a terrible thing could not happen to one of their employees.

Matrix Polymers is a company that specialises in producing materials for rotational moulding and they are not a rotomoulder, however the company does have a full scale Ferry carousel rotomoulding machine which it uses daily for materials testing and development.

1. Access to the oven for any maintenance and repair work can only be carried out with a ‘permit to work’. In addition a full and formal isolation procedure will also be carried out at the same time to ensure the machine cannot be switched on.


2. Access to the moulding area is now controlled by securing the area when a qualified person is not present at the machine.

3. Access to the rear of the machine is now controlled by a ‘permit to work’ and a gate lock out system.


4. The main control panel for the machine is now in a fixed position with a clear line of sight directly into the oven and cooling chamber.


5. An audible warning sound and flashing beacon operates when the oven door is closing to warn everyone that the door is about to close.


6. Kick panels have been installed to the front and rear of the oven. These are mounted on glass hinges, which allow a means of escape from the oven if someone becomes trapped.


7. A machine kill-cord is located inside the front and rear of the oven. Once pulled the oven door is instantly opened and the oven is shut off. For the machine to be powered up again there has to be a forced restart of the system.


8. Full documented training for all members of staff who use the rotomoulding machine on all new procedures and safety systems has been implemented and will be part of the induction process for new members of the team going forward.

Mark Morgan commented that "The safety of our employees is of paramount importance in our business and we set out to make sure that such a tragedy could not happen to any of our people."

Martin Coles, Managing Director of Matrix added, “As a leading supplier focused on supporting the rotomoulding process we care passionately about our industry and want to freely share any knowledge that can help prevent such a sad accident occurring again. We therefore invite any rotomoulder or supplier anywhere in the world to make contact with us if they need any information regarding the work we’ve done in this area.”

Mark Morgan has 20 years’ experience in rotomoulding manufacture and is responsible for overseeing both compounding and grinding facilities at Matrix Polymers in Liverpool, UK and KoÅ‚o, Poland.

Mark was invited, back in June, by the Australasian Rotomoulding Association (ARMA) to share his presentation on the company’s machine modification and procedural changes at the annual conference in Adelaide.

For further information Mark can be contacted at mark.morgan@matrixpolymers.com

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