Weaving company fined £20k for failings

A Sudbury weaving company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs after admitting health and safety failings.

Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to comply with its responsibilities relating to the exposure of employees to dyes and noise.

An earlier hearing heard that Harry Wragg, who had been employed to run the company’s dying process from 1993, had suffered chest infections and breathing difficulties from 2004 to 2012.

Mr Wragg was dismissed for gross misconduct after allegedly threatening to burn down a director’s house, having tendered his resignation over the health issues.

At Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, the company pleaded guilty to five offences said to have been committed between January 2004 and October 2012.

It admitted two offences of failing to make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from exposure to dye and one charge of failing to ensure employees received suitable training and information about the use of dyes classified as harmful.

The company admitted failing to prevent or adequately control the risks to employees from exposure to harmful dyes and failing to ensure employees at risk from regular exposure to noise were under suitable health surveillance.

Judge John Devaux imposed a £4,000 fine for each of the offences and ordered the company to pay £10,000 costs within three years.