Use of Polishing Cloths on Lathes

Following a recent serious injury accident to a student in a design and technology lesson in a secondary school in North Yorkshire, we have been asked by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to issue advice to cease the practice of using polishing cloths on lathes.


As a result of the accident, the HSE issued a prohibition notice on North Yorkshire County Council requiring them to prohibit use of all hand held polishing cloths on lathes by staff and students. We are therefore asking you, as a matter of urgency, to review your practices on lathes and ensure the following actions are carried out:

1. Your school formally prohibits the use of polishing cloths by staff and students whilst working with lathes and that this requirement is brought to the attention of all staff.

2. A safer alternative practice be introduced to reduce the risk of entanglement. This may involve use of a dedicated polishing machine, use of jigs to prevent the risk of entanglement or other safe procedure that avoids use of handheld polishing cloths.

Please see a link to an HSE information sheet on this.


Published: 11/03/2014
Audience: All heads of DT in Secondary School
Contact: Adam Varley/Anne Marie Ullyott

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