Sole trader fined after worker injured

An East Lothian-based sole trader was today fined after a self-employed furniture maker was injured on their premises.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how, on 25 February 2016, a self-employed furniture maker was working on the premises owned by Peter Anselm Fraser, trading as A and A Fraser Property. Whilst the furniture maker was moving wood over the planer blade, the machine skidded on the table causing her left hand to slip off the top edge and come into contact with the exposed part of the blade. As a result, the furniture maker suffered hand injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the planer machine was fitted with a fence guard but lacked a bridge guard at the area she was working. The absence of a bridge guard on the planer created an increased risk where the operator might inadvertently come into contact with the exposed portion of the blade.

Peter Anselm Fraser trading as A and A Fraser Property of Gifford, East Lothian, pleaded guilty to breaching of Regulation 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £6,700. 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kim Munro said: “This injury was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified.

“Employers/sole traders should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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