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    FAILURE TO MAINTAIN GUARDS PROVES COSTLY

    Woodworking machinery defective despite previous HSE advice

    A timber products company has been fined following repeated failures to safely guard and maintain woodwork equipment used by their employees.

    Barkingside Magistrates heard how employees had been exposed to the risk of serious injury because a radial arm drilling machine was not fitted with an effective telescopic guard or trip device.

    In addition, the housing on a re-saw blade and self-return function on a cross-cut saw had not been maintained.

    Continual fail to address risks

    The failures found were despite the company having received previous enforcement action from HSE on similar issues.

    • Ashwell Recycled Timber Products Limited – of Wick Place Farm, Bulphan, Upminster, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Regulation 5(1) and one of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and have been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,831.75.

    Speaking after the case HSE inspector Dominic Elliss said

    “In this case, the company completely failed to grasp the importance of installing and maintaining basic but essential guards to prevent access to the dangerous parts of woodworking machinery. Companies should be aware that HSE may bring prosecutions where duty holders continually fail to address risks in the workplace.

    Woodworking machinery relies on the provision and ongoing maintenance of suitable guards to prevent significant injuries occurring, and businesses should take this opportunity to review their own arrangements and ensure they are sufficiently robust.”

     

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