Manufacturing company fined after worker loses part of hand

Laxtons Limited, a West Yorkshire manufacturing company, 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, West Yorkshire 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.”

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.[1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: [2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at[3]
  4. Please see the link below to doing it the right way when working with machinery: