Basic safeguards would have prevented injury

Camo printer fined

The worker's sleeve was caught in a grooved spindle on a fabric spooling machine

A specialist printer of camouflage fabrics used by militaries around the world has been fined £60,000 after a worker was dragged into one of its machines.

The incident happened on 20 June 2022 at Pin Croft Dyeing and Printing Co Ltd’s factory in Adlington, near Chorley.

The company trades as Pincroft.

A worker at the site had been operating a large fabric spooling machine when a brake malfunctioned.

“During his attempt to manually slow the rotation of the machine, his sleeve became caught up with an exposed grooved spindle and his right arm was drawn into the mechanism,” the HSE report stated.

“It became twisted by the rotation of the machine which broke both major bones in the forearm and caused serious tissue damage.”

HSE found that despite the company being aware of the risk posed by the moving spindle, it had failed to either remove or suitably guard this part of the machinery.

As a result of his injuries, the man, who was right-handed, spent four nights in hospital and was unable to return to work for six months.

At a hearing at Preston Magistrates Court on 31 January Pincroft pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The firm was fined £60,000 and was ordered to pay £2,147 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector David Bellis commented: “This man’s injuries were serious but they could have been much worse. The whole incident and its consequences could have been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.

“At HSE we would like highlight that all employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

A Pincroft spokesperson told Printweek: “We deeply regret the injury sustained by one of our colleagues and reiterate our ongoing commitment to health and safety.”

HSE guidance is available about how employers can take steps to make sure workers use machinery safely.