Teen injured inside industrial laundry machine

A Shropshire laundry company appeared in court after a teenage worker became trapped in machinery, suffering serious spinal and leg injuries.

Nineteen-year-old Matthew Brown spent nine days in hospital following the incident at Cleantex Ltd, in Telford.

Magistrates heard last month that Mr Brown had climbed into the industrial laundry machine to retrieve an item of clothing, wrongly assuming that the mechanism had come to a stop.

While inside, a moveable conveyor belt overhead completed its cycle and trapped the teenager against the floor.

He was off work for seven months as a result of his injuries and had to complete an intensive course of physiotherapy. He had since resumed light duties.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that adequate steps had not been taken to prevent employees from accessing the area of the machine where moving parts could pose a danger.

Cleantex pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation and was ordered to pay a £7500 fine and £750 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lyn Mizen said: “At the early stages of his working life,  Mr Brown’s future has been severely affected by the serious injuries he sustained as a result of Cleantex failing to effectively prevent access to dangerous moving machinery.

“If the gate used by Mr Brown to access the area had had an interlock fitted to it, like the access door to the front of the machine, this incident could easily have been avoided.”

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