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    FIRM FINED AFTER FINGER OF TRAINEE SEVERED

    Young worker injured hand working on unguarded rip saw

    A south London joinery firm has been sentenced after a trainee worker suffered life-changing injuries when his hand came into contact with the blade of a rip saw in February 2018.

    Westminster Magistrates heard that the 20-year-old employee was working with a colleague and being shown how to cut timber for beading.

    The worker and his colleague were using the rip saw to split lengths of timber. One of the men pushed the timber onto the saw and the other pulled it from the other side.

    He was feeding the wood into the machine when his hand was “pulled in” with the wood causing the loss of the first finger on his right hand, part of his thumb and a permanent disability.

    Guarding and training inadequate

    HSE found no risk assessments or method statements for the machinery used on the premises.

    Measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of various machines were inadequate and the adjustable guard over the rip saw blade was “stuck” and not protecting access to the saw blade.

    Adequate training was not provided on how to use the machinery. The person responsible for training the injured person had not received any training during the 30 years he had worked for the company.

    • Masher Brothers Limited – of New Cross, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £8005.44 in costs.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Whittle said:

    “No safe system of work existed at the time of the incident..Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

    If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to this incident, the life changing injuries the employee sustained could have been prevented.”

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