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    PRISON TERM OVER POORLY GUARDED CIRCULAR SAW

    Workman lost three fingers using machine without guard and riving knife

    A sole trader has been given a suspended jail sentence for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries in October 2016 at a workshop in Rotherham.

    Sheffield Magistrates heard how the employee was using a table circular saw to cut down some large (2.4m x 2.4m) sheets of chipboard when his right hand made contact with the unguarded saw blade causing the amputation of three fingers.

    He was taken to hospital by the defendant. Two of his fingers were reattached at the hospital but the third finger was never found.

    Protective devices and safe system of work missing

    HSE investigators found that the worker was pushing the sheets through the saw by hand, without using an appropriate pushstick or jig which would have kept his hand and fingers away from the moving blade.

    At the time of the incident the crown guard and riving knife were also not fixed to the machine.

    The investigation also found that there was no Employer’s Liability (Compulsory Insurance) policy in place.

    • Andrew Gibson – of Lower Dolcliffe Road, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, who at the time was trading as Crosby Kitchens (a kitchen manufacturing company), pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £17,000 compensation to the injured employee.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Fox commented:

    “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices.

    Dangerous parts of machinery should be appropriately guarded as required by the legislation, in order to protect employees.”

     

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