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TEENAGER SEVERED HAND ON VERTICAL PANEL SAW

Timber frame firm failed to provide training during first week at work  

Frame Homes (South West) Ltd has been prosecuted after a teenage worker severed part of his hand while operating a vertical panel saw. The court heard that the young man had received “little training“.

Lewis Maker, 18-years-old at the time of the incident, was using the panel saw to cut board which he was holding steady with his left hand.  His hand was dragged onto the blade and the top half was severed. Surgeons were able to reattach part of his hand but he has regained very little use.

Truro Magistrates heard that Lewis started work just five days before the incident on 20 July 2009 and was given very little instruction on how to use the saw safely.

Information and training to work safely is vital

Frame Homes (South West) Ltd, of Jenson House, Cardrew Industrial Estate, Redruth, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £13,700 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Gareth Cottle, said:

“This was a devastating, life-changing injury for Lewis which could have been avoided if Frame Homes had provided adequate training.

Woodworking machines have a serious accident history which is well known in the industry. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers are given sufficient information and training to work safely, as well as access to fully trained and competent supervisors.

New workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace incidents and Lewis had every right to expect far more protection than Frame Homes afforded him.”

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