Textile firm fined for allowing untrained wool sorter access to dangerous machinery

A textile firm in Bradford has been fined having been found guilty of serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The prosecution was brought about after a new member of staff who was employed as a wool sorter was asked to clean debris from a machine. When the thirty-year-old man, who had received no training with such machinery, started to do as he had been asked, his hand was dragged into the unguarded machine.

By the time he was able to free his hand, the worker had lost the webbing between two fingers; he sustained serious damage to nerves, tendons and veins which has left him with no feeling in two of his fingers; he also has a scar that runs from the tip of one finger to the middle of his forearm.

The company was prosecuted for failing to ensure that their employee had received relevant health and safety training and for failing to install the appropriate guards on machines that are well-known to be dangerous. This was their second prosecution for an incident involving an employee cleaning machinery.

They were fined five thousand pounds and ordered to pay nearly three thousand in costs.