Sudbury: Weaving firm denies health and saftey breaches

Gainsborough Silk Weaving Factory

Gainsborough Silk Weaving Factory

A WEAVING firm whose fabrics hang in Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle and Balmoral have denied breaching health and safety regulations.

Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, who are based in Alexandra Road, Sudbury, face five charges under the Health and Safety Act relating to the exposure of employees to harmful dyes and noise.

The company, which was established in 1903 and became holders of the Royal Warrant in 1980, have produced luxury fabrics for some of most famous galleries and homes in the UK, including Royal houses and 10 Downing Street.

Yesterday West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Bury St Edmunds were told that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were prosecuting the firm for alleged offences stretching from January 2004 to October 2012.

Ruth Barber, prosecuting, said that between January 2004 and August 2012 the company failed to make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from exposure to dye, in particular Harry Wragg.

A similar charge was made against the company for between October 3 2004 and May 4 2012,

The court was told that the weaving company is also accused of failing to ensure employees, and in particular Mr Wragg, were provided with suitable information, instruction and training in the use of dyes that were classified as harmful between January 14 2004 and August 23 2012.

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Miss Barber said the company is also accused of failing to prevent or adequately control the risks to employees from exposure to harmful dyes.

A final charge relates to an alleged failure to ensure employees at risk from regular exposure to noise, were under suitable health surveillance between November 26 2007 and October 10 2012.

Julia Kendrick, representing Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges on behalf of the company.

The case will now be committed to crown court for trial.

The Gainsborough company state on their website that they are committed to preserving the traditions and values that made its name. It adds that the firm prepares and dye yarn, puts thread onto bobbins and manages every stage of design and production at their Suffolk mill.