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Rochdale bedding firm fined £50k over multiple safety failings

24-06-2013

Photo shows one of the machines at the factory which had been wrapped with pieces of cardboard

A Rochdale bedding manufacturer has been fined £50,000 after a health and safety inspection found the majority of its machines were unsafe to use.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had to return to Sartex Quilts and Textiles Ltd. for a second day after finding dozens of missing or inadequate guards on machines.

The company, which owns the Maison Le Vie and Night Comfort brands and employs 80 people at its plant on Queensway, was prosecuted following the inspection on 27 and 28 October 2011.

Manchester Crown Court was told that one machine, used to compact bales of quilt, had been wrapped with pieces of cardboard as the only way of protecting workers from the dangerous moving parts inside.

A lose board had been placed over a large electric motor and pulley system on another machine, and guards were generally found to be in a poor condition or missing altogether.

Inspectors issued three Prohibition Notices stopping some work immediately, and 12 Improvement Notices requiring changes to be made.

Sartex Quilts and Textiles Limited, which manufactures duvets, pillows and mattress protectors, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £14,614 in prosecution costs on 12 June 2013.

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