A COMPANY has been fined after a worker was dragged into a moving machine.

Peter Wilson, aged 58, was working at Cope Engineering Ltd in Sion Street, Radcliffe, when the cuff on his overalls got caught on the screws on a rotating three-metre long cylinder on July 9, 2012.

Mr Wilson, from Bury, needed 12 stitches to his arm and suffered injuries to his back and knee. He was off work for seven weeks.

A colleague pushed the emergency stop button and cut Mr Wilson’s overalls to stop them from getting more entangled before the rotating cylinder came to a halt.

The firm, which produces rollers for the printing, packaging and paper industries, was brought before Sefton Magistrates Court after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the firm had not prevented access to dangerous moving parts of the machine.

The court heard Cope Engineering made several changes to its working practices following the incident, including removing protruding screws from the cylinders, operating the machine at a slower speed when adjustments were being made, and changing the clothing worn by employees.

The business was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,767 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

HSE Inspector Helen Mansfield said: “An employee was badly injured in the incident but it could easily have been much worse if his colleague hadn’t acted quickly to stop the machine and cut his overalls free.

“Workers at the factory were put at a significant risk of their clothes becoming entangled on a daily basis so it was almost inevitable that someone would eventually be injured.”