An HSE inspection found (during inspections which had to be extended to a second day):
- There were dozens of missing or inadequate guards on machines.
- 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.
- Issued 3 prohibition notices
- Issued 12 improvement notices
- Prosecuted Sartex
An HSE Inspector said:
"This was one of the worst cases of missing or inadequate guards I or my colleagues have ever seen. Every corner we turned, we found another issue. The company put production before health and safety and put the lives of its employees in danger as a result. Common sense should have meant they didn't use cardboard to cover dangerous moving parts, but that's exactly what we found on one machine. Hundreds of injuries are reported every year across Great Britain caused by poor or missing guards, and it's only luck that no one has been seriously injured or even killed at Sartex Quilts' factory in Rochdale."