Fabric Firm Fined after Work Accident Injury

Fabric firm fined after worker injured 25823

A Manchester-based firm has been fined after one of its staff was injured in a work accident.

The unnamed 25-year-old, who has requested that their identity remain anonymous, was cleaning the inside of a ten-metre tall tower when it began to rotate unexpectedly.

Trafford Magistrates' Court was told the man suffered broken bones in his left foot and ankle, before being rushed to a nearby hospital.

After it was informed of the accident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a work accident investigation. Inspectors discovered the machine was suffering from a maintenance issue that meant an interlocking system that would have prevented it from rotating was not working.

HSE officials also found that staff members at AMR Textiles were given override keys to prevent safety mechanisms from functioning, something that is against health and safety guidelines and allowed for dangerous working practices to continue.

For its part in the person's injuries, AMR Textiles was fined £8,000 and told to pay £10,103 in prosecution costs after Trafford Magistrates' Court decided the firm breached part of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing finished, HSE inspector David Norton said, "The machine should have been perfectly safe to use when it was installed due to the interlock on the tower's access hatch but AMR Textiles did not make any regular checks to make sure it was working correctly.

"The company also put employees at risk by giving each of their supervisors an override key. This meant the safety guards were regularly bypassed for routine tasks."

Mr Norton added that the worker should never have been given access to the machine's access hatch and that while AMR Textiles has made changes to its workplace safety practices since the incident, it was too late for the staff member that suffered serious leg injuries.

It was not revealed how long the affected worker was out of work for and if they managed to make a full return to employment.

By Chris Stevenson