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Pretty employee, 24, suffers 'life-changing injuries' after she was scalped by conveyor belt at coat hanger factory
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By Hugo Gye
PUBLISHED: 08:53 EST, 17 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:40 EST, 17 January 2013
Injuries: Kelly Nield had her hair ripped out while working at a factory; she is pictured before the accident
A company was today hit with a £60,000 fine after one of its employees got her hair and scarf caught in a machine at its factory.
Kelly Nield spent three months in hospital and suffered life-changing injuries after being dragged into the conveyor belt at the factory on Deeside in North Wales.
Mainetti UK was forced to pay out £60,000 and meet costs of £21,600 after being faced with four charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive relating to the 'horrific accident' which took place in April 2009.
Miss Nield, now 24, was working at the coat hanger factory when she leaned forward to free some hangers which were caught in the machinery.
Her scarf became entangled in the cogs of a conveyor belt, which then dragged in her hair.
As she tried to free herself her hand was caught in the machine, trapping her little finger and almost severing it.
After the accident she sustained serious injuries to the neck and throat, lost much of her hair and fractured her finger.
Miss Nield was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital, where she remained for three months while undergoing a series of operations.
She now has disabling injuries and has been fitted with a stomach peg to feed her liquids because she is unable to swallow, as well as suffering from flashbacks and trauma, prosecutor Simon Parrington told Mold Crown Court.
Judge Niclas Parry said that it was 'an accident waiting to happen', adding that Miss Nield's horrific injuries were entirely foreseeable due to Mainetti's lax safety standards.
Mr Parrington said that the company failed to provide proper instruction, prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery or install an emergency stop button on the factory floor.
Miss Nield, an agency worker, had received some training, but was not warned about the dangers of working with conveyors before she started doing so.
Her accident came on the first day she worked on the conveyor line.
Responsible: Mainetti UK has admitted its culpability for the horrific incident in 2009
Simon Antrobus, defending, said that the company officials wished to apologise to Miss Nield and added that the firm accepted full responsibility for her ordeal.
'It does not seek to evade responsibility or pass the buck,' he said.
He claimed the accident was a result of workers failing to follow the company's own safety procedures, but admitted that managers should have rectified this failure.
Mr Antrobus added that Mainetti had a good safety record and had recently moved to a new factory in North Wales with updated procedures.
He also pointed to the company's charity work and good reputation among its own employees as mitigation.