Telford laundry firm Cleantex Ltd fined after worker injured

A laundry company has been fined more than £8,000 after a teenage worker suffered "serious" injuries when he became trapped in machinery.

Matthew Brown, 19, from Telford, sustained leg and spinal injuries while retrieving clothing from an industrial laundry machine at Cleantex Ltd.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the company failed to prevent access to dangerous moving parts.

Cleantex Ltd admitted the breach and said it regretted the offence.

'Easily avoided'

Telford Magistrates' Court heard Mr Brown needed emergency surgery after also sustaining a broken ankle in the incident, on 22 October 2013.

Mr Brown mistakenly thought the movement of the laundry machine had been stopped when he entered it, but a conveyor belt above his head was still completing its cycle and trapped him against the floor.

He spent nine days in hospital and was off work for seven months. He has since returned on light duties.

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 prevent access to dangerous moving machinery.

"If the gate used by Mr Brown to access the area had had an interlock fitted to it, this incident could easily have been avoided."

The laundry company, which is based in Telford, 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.

"We have operated a laundry in Telford for 26 years and this has been our only offence."

General manager Ben Woodhead added: "We deeply regret this solitary offence and the injury caused to Matthew.

"We wish him continued success in his employment here with us."

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