Worker loses all fingers and thumb in machinery

An assistant farm manager from Norwich lost all his fingers and thumb of his left hand when it became caught in machinery.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard how the farm manager was operating a firewood processing machine, which consisted of a circular saw, log splitter and conveyer.

In the course of splitting a log, the worker’s left hand became caught between the log and the splitting wedge, and all the fingers and the thumb on the hand were severed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 13 February 2014 found that the machine had recently been supplied and did not comply with the relevant British standard and it was not safe to use.

Rytec Industrial Equipment Limited, of Town Green Lane, Settrington, Malton, North Yorkshire, who supplied the machine in Great Britain, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,441.

Metal Agricola S.R.L, of Via Michelini, Levaldigi, Italy, who manufactured the machine, pleaded guilty to breaching section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , and was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,099.

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.
  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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