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Laundry firm fined over worker spinal injury

Posted in: Employer Negligence Faulty Work Equipment Leg Injuries Spine & Back Injuries Workplace Injuries 

A Telford-based laundry firm has been fined £8,000 after a worker suffered “serious injuries” from the machinery. 19-year-old Matthew Brown had been working at the Cleantex Ltd launderette when the accident happened. He had been retrieving clothing from one of the industrial machines when he became trapped, leaving him with serious leg and spinal injuries.

Following the accident Mr Brown required emergency surgery on the 22nd October 2013. It was heard in court that he thought that the machine had stopped moving when he entered it to remove the clothing, but a conveyor belt above his head was still completing its cycle, trapping him against the floor. He suffered spinal injuries and a broken ankle in the incident and had to spend nine days in hospital. He was unable to return to work for seven months.

“We regret the injury”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the firm had failed to prevent workers’ access to dangerous moving parts of the machinery. Cleantex Ltd admitted the health and safety breach. One HSE inspector, Lyn Mizen, said that if an interlock gate had been fitted to the area, the accident could have been “easily avoided.

The Telford laundry company pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.  Director Paul Woodhead said: “We regret the injury and ensured within 24 hours it can never happen again.

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