Timber manufacturer fined after employee suffers severe hand injuries

A timber gate manufacturer in Daventry has been fined after a young employee lost two fingers on his left hand while working on machinery.

The 27-year-old employee of Main Line Timber Limited was pulled into the rotating blade of an inadequately guarded circular saw which was not fitted with a riving knife or ‘take off’ table when the incident happened on 25 July 2014.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard today (11 Aug) that the employee had been working on the saw alone and was both feeding and removing large pieces of timber from the saw when a piece of wood snagged and pulled his left hand into the blade. 

The employee’s left hand was severely injured, and his little finger and ring finger were subsequently amputated.   

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure that required safety features were installed on the machine and to maintain the condition of the top guard on the saw. In addition to these failings, the employee did not received adequate training for use of the saw and there was an unsafe system of work in place.

Main Line Timber Limited of Old Station Yard, Woodford Halse, Daventry, was fined £10,000 with costs of £1000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jenna McDade, said: “Had the company taken suitable measures to ensure workers did not come into contact with the rotating blade, had the saw been properly guarded and fitted with relevant safety features and had employees been provided with adequate training, this young man would not have lost two of his fingers.” 

Notes to editors 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

Article source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/timber-manufacturer-fined-after-employee-suffers-severe-hand-injuries/