Man dragged into machine during work accident

A horrific work accident saw an employee sustain broken bones in his left foot and ankle after being dragged into a machine.

Lancashire-based fabric maker AMR Textiles Ltd has been fined £8,000 for safety failings following the factory incident on Stoneclough’s Europa Park Trading Estate on June 21, 2012.

The unnamed 25-year-old Middleton man had been cleaning the interior of a 10-metre-tall (32ft 9in) tower when the machine began unexpectedly.

His left leg was dragged in by the rollers he was standing on, Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told.

Broken bones

A workmate inserted an override key to test another section of the equipment, but the rollers the employee was standing on also began circling, pulling in his left leg up to the knee and causing the injury at work.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation discovered the access hatch to the tower had been fitted with an interlock to stop the rollers moving when the hatch was open.

But AMR had not undertaken regular checks and it was not working when the accident happened.

In 2010, AMR Textiles gave supervisors an override key following alterations to the machine which enabled them to override the guards for maintenance or cleaning.

This broke health and safety guidelines, the court heard. It should have been impossible for staff to climb into a risky section of the machine while it could still operate.

AMR has since remedied these failings.

Kearsley-based AMR Textiles Ltd was also ordered to pay £10,103 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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