Manufacturing company fined after worker loses part of hand

West Yorkshire-based fashion and furnishings textile manufacturer Laxtons Limited has been fined for safety breaches after a worker lost part of their hand in a textile machine.

On 24 March 2021 an employee of Laxtons Limited was running a number of textile machines. When he opened a guard to check on a build-up of fibres, he reached in to remove material, losing part of his hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that one of the machines had a defective interlock device. This allowed the machine to continue running when the guard, which was located over a pair of in-running rollers and gears, was opened.

Laxtons Ltd of Baildon, Shipley, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £15,750 and ordered to pay £759 in costs at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

HSE inspector Julian Franklin said: “Machine guarding should be in line with the appropriate standard, and regularly checked.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply training staff in the safe and correct way of operating machinery, and regularly checking that safety devices are functioning.”

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