Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Textiles Industry Focus
Posted by David Cant on May 21, 2012

Approximately eighty per cent of all injuries reported in the textiles industry are caused by just four types of accidents.  These main causes are:

  • Slips or trips
  • Being hit by falling or moving objects
  • Moving machinery
  • Musculoskeletal injuries caused by manual handling

Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common type of injury. This not only causes pain and suffering to your employees it also costs the company money through absences, a high turnover of staff and the cost of retraining. Many claims are now being put against employers too and this can cost money when paying out compensation and court costs, and result in higher insurance premiums.  To manage the risks of musculoskeletal injuries employers need to:

  • Identify the tasks which put employees at risk
  • Look at the tasks in great detail to identify the factors which result in the injuries
  • Introduce mechanisation to reduce the risks such as lifters, automation and conveyors where possible
  • When it is not possible to introduce mechanisation introduce safety measures such as improving workstation design, training, job rotation and medical surveillance
  • Work with union safety representatives, employees and employee representatives to help discover workable solutions

In addition to these injuries ill health is also a major problem for the industry which is often caused by the musculoskeletal injuries, the noise in the workplace and occupational asthma caused by dust. Therefore it is important to try and reduce these risks and put in place safe policies to ensure workers are protected.

Protect Hearing

Noisy environments can cause permanent damage to hearing. Continuous exposure to noise can gradually harm hearing and this can make the problem very difficult to detect. Industrial hearing loss accounts for approximately 75% of all occupational disease claims. Therefore the Textiles Industry Advisory Committee are working on how to reduce the source of noise from machines, and it essential that assessments are held in the meantime to help reduce the risks and protect the hearing of your employees.

Assessing Risks from Dusts and Dyes

Dust is a well-known problem and steps need to be taken to help protect workers from contracting occupational asthma or other respiratory conditions. There are workplace exposure limits in force that must be adhered to. Dyestuffs and chemicals are also damaging to health and they too require COSHH assessments and strict surveillance in order to help reduce those risks.

What are COSHH Assessments?

The COSHH stands for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. The employers have a duty to assess what the risks are, what chemicals cause the risks and how they can be controlled. Once the controls have been devised the employers need to ensure their workers use them and that they continue to be effective.  The COSHH also requires employers to give out information about the risks involved for their workers, and to provide adequate training to help employees to perform the control measures.

Training employees and managers is a must. The textile industry needs to be well controlled in order to prevent injuries. Speak to health and safety consultants about the various health and safety services to help put in control measures, communicate with workers and conduct risk assessments.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

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