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    FINGERS AMPUTATED IN WOOD MACHINE INCIDENTS

    Joinery firm failed to provide effective safeguards on saw and planer

    Reading Magistrates have heard how employees of a joinery business were injured in two separate incidents involving cutting tools.

    One employee was injured whilst cutting timber on the blade of an unstable sliding table saw in August 2017 causing amputations to the middle and index fingers on his right hand.

    The second incident in September 2018 involved an apprentice joiner feeding timber through a planer / thicknesser machine. The guard was insufficient and the rotating cutter came into contact with the finger of the employee causing amputation down to the first knuckle.

    Failure to comply with Improvement Notice

    HSE investigators found that the firm failed to ensure effective measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of their machinery. The company was issued with three Improvement Notices and a Prohibition Notice.

    The company complied with the Prohibition Notice by making the sliding table saw stable, but failed to comply with the Improvement Notices within the (extended) deadline.

    • Flory Works Limited – of Little Acre Farm, Chesham, pleaded guilty to breaching of Section 2(1), three breaches of Section 33(1)G of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and a breach under Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined a total of £10,600 and ordered to pay costs of £2024.60.

    Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Thomas Giles said

    “This incident could easily have been prevented had the machinery been properly maintained. Failings in health and safety management were reflected in the general poor standards which were further compounded by the company’s non-compliance with Improvement Notices served by HSE.

    Awareness and management of health and safety, regardless of the company size, is crucial to ensuring the safety of the workforce, and companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

     

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