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Quilt and pillow firm fined after and employee is injured

Comfy Quilts Ltd has been in court after an employee’s hand was trapped in a moving machine.

What happened?

The 60-year-old employee was carrying out maintenance work on a pillow filling machine when the incident happened.

The machine’s fixed guards had been removed to allow access, but correct measures to isolate the power supply had not been followed, trapping his hand as a result.

As well as losing a significant amount of skin, he also fractured his thumb which had to be pinned following surgery. He was unable to work for two months and, following that, could only undertake light duties.

Since the investigation, the Middleton-based company has made several changes to its working practices, such as publishing risk assessments and implementing maintenance procedures for staff.

What was the outcome?

Comfy Quilts Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £718.50 in costs.

Emily Osbourne, an inspector for the HSE, said:

“An employee sustained a painful injury in the incident,
but it could easily have been much worse.

“The fact we needed to serve Improvement Notices at both of the company’s
Middleton sites shows that it did not properly understand the
vital role guards play in keeping workers safe.

“Workers were put at a significant risk on a daily basis so it was almost
inevitable that someone would eventually be injured.

“Comfy Quilts Ltd should have carried out a proper assessment of the risks
faced by workers, and then acted to tackle the dangers. If the
measures the company implemented following the incident
had been in place sooner, then the worker’s
injuries could have been avoided.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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