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28th February 2024

Bedding Manufacturer Fined Quarter Of A Million After Employees Are Injured

Bed manufacturing company fined £250k

What’s Happened?

A bedding manufacturer in Rochdale has recently been fined more than £250,000 after two of its employees were seriously injured during separate incidents at its manufacturing site.

The first incident involved an employee who was working his first day on the production line. He was instructed to clean the measuring wheel on a cutting machine, but as he climbed onto the conveyor belt, it became apparent that the cutting machine had not been properly isolated from its power supply. As a result, the machine’s clamp came down, trapping the employee’s left hand and causing the circular saw to move.

Emergency action was taken by another employee to stop the saw, but not before three fingers had been amputated from the worker’s left hand.

The second incident involved an employee whilst operating a quilting machine. The operative had noticed a fallen metal casing and attempted to place it onto the back of the machine while it was being operated. However, his gloves became tangled in the moving part of the machine, causing his right hand to be dragged in. This caused lacerations and crush injuries to his right hand and resulted in the tips of two of his fingers being amputated.

HSE Investigation

HSE inspectors visited the site and investigated the incidents. It was determined that on both occasions the company failed to appropriately guard the machinery and did not implement suitable and sufficient procedures to isolate machinery from power.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute the company following the separate incidents, which saw both workers undergo amputations.

In Court

The company attended Manchester & Salford Magistrates’ Court on 14 February 2024 where they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £251,250 and ordered to pay £6,862.63 in costs at

After the hearing, the HSE inspector involved in the case said: “These injuries were serious and avoidable, the risk should have been identified.
“Employers should make sure they properly assess and ensure that access to dangerous parts of machinery is prevented. Had these machines been adequately guarded and a safe isolating procedure been in place,  these incidents could have easily been prevented.”

If you have any queries regarding PUWER assessments, machinery guarding or any other health and safety issue, don’t hesitate to call our advice line today on 0300 303 5228.

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