Coat hanger manufacturer Mainetti has been fined £81,668 after a young woman was hospitalised for three months due to getting caught in machinery.
Kelly Nield, 25, from Ellesmere Port, sustained “horrific, life-changing injuries” according to David Wynne, an inspector at the Health and Safety Executive.
Miss Nield’s hair after it was ripped out by machinery at Mainetti’s factory while she was sorting clothes hangers on a conveyor.
With the conveyor unguarded, Nield’s scarf and hair became caught in the conveyor’s chain as she bent over to remove accumulated hangers.
She sustained serious throat injuries, had most of her hair ripped out and fractured a finger in the incident at the Deeside Industrial Park in Wales.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching three health and safety regulations that left Kelly Nield hospitalised for three months and in need of a number of operations.
The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the company for serious safety failings as a guard didn’t enclose the dangerous moving parts and there was no emergency stop button.
The company didn’t enforce its rules on keeping hair and loose clothing secure when near the machinery.
HSE Inspector David Wynne said the “life-changing injuries could easily have been avoided if the right safeguarding measures had been taken by Mainetti.”
“There are well-known risks associated with working with conveyor belts,” he added. “It is vital, therefore, that the risks are fully assessed and guarding provided to prevent access to moving parts. Where appropriate, emergency stop controls should be installed in readily accessible places.”