Polyester wadding firm fined £12,000 after worker injury
By Andrew Smith
Posted 23 July 2012
A Bolton-based company that produces a range of technical textile products including polyester wadding and coated fabrics has been fined a total of £12,000 after a worker suffered severe hand injuries in an industrial accident.
Tame Valley Wadding, part of the John Holden group, admitted breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations during a hearing before Trafford magistrates (20 July).
The court heard that in May 2011 a 27-year-old employee lost part of a finger and suffered hand injuries as his hand became caught in a rotating cog of a machine used to produce reels of fabric.
Evidence was given that he was trying to remove a build up of fibre as the machine was still running.
An HSE investigation discovered that it was regular practise to clear the machine while it was still in operation. The company admitted that by allowing this practise it breached safety regulations because it failed to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the machine.
In mitigation the court was told that the company has now installed a new safety system which cuts the power immediately if gates leading to the rotating mechanism are opened.
The company was fined £6,500 with £5,500 costs.
After the case a spokeswoman for the HSE said: "The worker should never have been able to gain access to the dangerous rotating mechanism in the machine while it was still moving.
"Sadly his employer's failings have led to him losing part of the index finger on his left hand, and suffering serious injuries to his ring finger.
"Manufacturing firms must make the safety of their employees their top priority to stop incidents like this from happening again in the future."
Comment on this article.
[ Back ]