Firm fined after woman’s hand crushed at Ravensthorpe factory

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A textile worker’s fingers were crushed in a yarn processing machine as she reached under the rollers.

The 59-year-old woman was left with lasting damage to her hands after her fingers were caught in the machinery.

Now the owners of the Ravensthorpe factory have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard today (Wednesday) that the woman had been trying to retrieve fibres beneath the rollers of a carding machine at Lawton Yarns Limited on March 7 last year.

Three fingers on her right hand were badly crushed and she needed multiple hospital visits for operations and physiotherapy. She has not regained full use of her hand.

The HSE found the firm had failed to fully assess the risks of the secondhand miniature carding machine.

It had fitted guards and developed safe systems of work, but did not take into account the risk of access to the rollers from the underside.

The failings meant that part of the machine was not guarded and there was nothing to prevent workers getting too close to moving parts.

The firm, of Raven Ing Mills, Huddersfield Road, admitted two counts of breaching health and safety regulations.

It was given a £5,000 fine and ordered to pay £648 costs.

HSE inspector Neil Hope-Collins said: “Lawton Yarns’ key failing was not to assess the risks adequately in the first place.

“The assessment is the platform for informing you of the controls and measures you need.

“If the former is lacking, then so are the controls.

“In this case, a vital risk was missed and an employee now has to live with the serious consequences.”