Textile company fined after worker suffers crush injury

A West Yorkshire-based company has been sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker suffered serious injuries whilst working on a spinning machine.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 4 June 2015, a worker at Spectrum Yarns Ltd was changing worn aprons on a spinning machine and attempting to retrieve a suction pipe that had fallen back into the machine.

The worker’s left arm was pulled into machinery due to a new compact spinning device which had been added to the machine. The worker was unable to stop the machine quickly as the only emergency stops were located at the ends of the machine. The worker suffered crush injuries to his left arm requiring surgery and skin grafts.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine had been modified in 2014 with the addition of the compact spinning device but there was no emergency trip wire running the length of the line. The investigation also found the company had failed to ensure the worker was made aware of the additional risks presented by the modifications.

Spectrum Yarns Ltd of Spa Mill, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1074 and was fined £80,000 with £989 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jackie Ferguson commented: “The worker had not received any specific training or induction on the spinning machine, there was no documentation or training records stipulating the machine should be isolated before changing aprons.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk[1]
  2. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk[3]
  3. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ [2]