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Clothes hanger company fined after young woman’s serious accident

25th January 2013

She had been working at a factory which manufactured clothes hangers in Deeside, North Wales, when the incident took place.

Tasked with sorting the product, she leant over the conveyor to retrieve hangers and remove them from the machine. Unfortunately, as she did this her scarf and long hair became tangled in the chain and sprocket mechanism.

This resulted in her losing a large amount of her hair, suffering serious injuries to her throat, and fracturing one of her fingers.

She remained in hospital for three months and required several operations.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation revealed that the safety guard around the conveyor was not correctly fitted – leaving some of the dangerous mechanism exposed – and that there was no emergency stop button on the machine.

Furthermore, the company should have prevented the worker from wearing her hair down and loose clothing where there was a risk of entanglement.

The manufacturer of clothing hangers was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £21,668 for failing to prevent the work accident.

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