A Bolton fabric firm has been fined after an employee was badly injured when he was flipped around a large rotating roller.

The 39-year-old from the town, who has asked not to be named, was trying to straighten a crease on a roll of fabric as it was being wound up when his clothes became caught in the mechanism on 17 October 2011.

He was dragged around the roller three times, suffering cracked ribs and bruising to the side of his body.

Flameproofings Ltd, which treats fabrics used for curtains and sofas, was today (18 January) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident at its factory at the Lyon Road Industrial Estate.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that there were no guards on the machine to prevent workers from accessing dangerous moving parts, and the emergency stop button nearest to where the employee was working was defective.

The company had carried out an assessment which identified the risk of workers’ clothes becoming entangled as a hazard, but it failed to act on this. It has since installed a new guard on the machine and changed its procedure for removing creases.

Flameproofings Ltd, of Springfield Road in Kearsley, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £3,600 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emily Osborne said:

“The worker was badly injured because his employer didn’t do enough to ensure he could not become entangled in the machine.

“Flameproofings failed to act on the findings of its own risk assessment, and install a suitable guard on the machine. It should also have made sure the defective emergency stop button was fixed and working properly.

“Sadly, it took the injury of an employee for the company to realise it needed to take action to improve safety at the factory.”