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Bradford worker injured after just weeks in job

A Bradford textile firm has been sentenced for safety failures after a worker was left with a long-term hand injury after only a month in the job.

The 30 year-old employee joined the company as a wool sorter, a job that did not involve any working with machinery.

The following month he was told to clean debris from the trays of a machine that untangles woollen fibres – despite the fact he had no training or experience for handling machines at the factory.

As he attempted to carry out the task, his hand was dragged into the unguarded machine and became stuck. His glove was shredded and he started to lose feeling in his hand, before eventually managing to pull it free.

The worker’s hand was badly cut leaving him with scarring from the tip of his right index finger to mid-forearm; tendon, nerve and vein damage resulting in the loss of movement to two fingers; and loss of webbing between two fingers.

HSE found the employee had no experience or training in the use of machinery and had been given none by the company. Also, there had been no measures to protect workers against access to dangerous moving parts and no system of safe work to follow when cleaning machinery.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,897.35 in costs.

Eight UK workers were killed as a result of incidents involving contact with moving machinery during 2010/11, and more than 1,000 others were seriously injured.